Frequent, regular and prolonged exposure to vibration through the hands and arms can cause permanent ill health. Conditions associated with exposure to vibration include hand-arm vibration syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome. Sufferers can experience tingling and numbness in the fingers, pain, a loss of strength in the hands and an inability to do fine work.
Some examples of sources exposure to vibration include the use of hand operated power tools such as pedestrian controlled mowers, strimmers, hedge trimmers, chainsaws and similar equipment.
Regulations require that employers control the risks of vibration exposure, provide employees with information, instruction and training on the risk and how to control it and provide health surveillance where required.
The HSE recently published new guidance specifically targeted at this sector which aims to help employers identify and control risks and comply with the regulations. The guidance covers assessing risk, developing a plan and taking action to control the risk, for example maintaining tools, managing work schedules, selecting the right tool for the job etc.
You can download the new guidance from the HSE’s website at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg480.htm
Please speak to your normal PIB Risk management contact or get in touch using firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the management of vibration or if you would like to arrange a vibration assessment for your workplace.