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Hand Arm Vibration – HAV

Best Practice in HAV Assessment and Risk Management – simpler than you think…

HAV measurements – usually an unnecessary expense…
Regulation: control vibration risk, don’t measure…
Beware manufacturers’ vibration data for risk assessment…

hand arm vibration (HAV) and vibration white finger (VWF) assessment, measurement and managementWe have a rare level of expertise in the field of hand-arm vibration that has allowed us to develop a uniquely pragmatic approach to HAV risk management that dramatically reduces the costs and resources required to meet regulatory and moral responsibilities. Our reputation is such that we were invited to present on the HSE road-shows across the UK to launch the HAV regulations. Key innovations and abilities include the largest hand-arm vibration database of accurate field data available, HAV-Base, that can cut assessment costs by up to 90%,  and the engineering skills to reduce vibration at source.

“If you are paying suppliers or consultants to measure the vibration on your tools every year or two, it’s very good business for them, but completely unnecessary…”

HAV Myth Management

The depressing evidence is that many HAV assessments are seriously flawed and that industry is storing up future problems despite the best of intentions. There is a minefield of opportunities for vibration risk management mistakes based on mis-information and myth. The most common areas for errors are:-

Manufacturers’ Hand-Arm Vibration Data – it’s data, but not necessarily assessment data
Manufacturers’ updated declared values (to BS EN ISO 8662; EN 60745; EN ISO 20643 – which they have to provide under the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 provide higher and more realistic vibration values HAV traffic light vibration value assessment from hire companiesthan the old ISO8662 standard. However, whilst useful for an initial estimate, you still cannot use these figures for accurate risk assessment unless you can show that they are representative of your real-use tool vibration. This is particularly the case where the operator dose is likely to be close to the action or limit values as there can be substantial consequences. Quoting the HSE guidance - “…you will still need to check with the manufacturer that the vibration emission declared in the equipment’s handbook is representative of your normal use of the equipment.” However, there is commercial pressure on suppliers not go out of their way to publicise the higher vibration values that are often associated with real field use….

Hand-Arm Vibration Measurement Accuracy – don’t measure unless you have to…
HAV -hand arm meter for vibration measurementHAV measurements are time consuming and expensive – and often unnecessary (use an accurate database). When measurements are made, incorrect transducer mounting and other technical mistakes often lead to poor vibration measurement data that can under-estimate vibration risk by factors of x2 to x20.

Repeated Monitoring – and also Repeated Monitoring
Save your time and money. Once you have good data for your tools and operations, you never have to repeat the process – unless you change tools or your operating procedures. Many companies spend a fortune on unnecessary repeat measurements and costly monitoring systems and procedures when it would better be spent on new, low vibration tools and other measures that actually reduce the risk.

AV gloves are not PPE for hand arm vibration

Hand-Arm Vibration and PPE – an oxymoron
There is no generally effective PPE for HAV, despite claims by some AV glove suppliers. In fact, it is often likely that so called “AV” gloves may actually increase the risk due to their effect on ergonomics.

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Hand-Arm Vibration Management Programme – Best Practice Guide

The following is a step-by-step check list of the components of any effective HAV risk management programme. Simply contact us for more on any of the element(s) for which you need more information.

  1. Create a vibrating tool / plant register. This always takes much longer than you expect – and usually turns up many more tools than you estimate… Fill-in the register and then forward a copy to us so that we can evaluate the assessment options for you (see below). Click here to download the free template HAV tool register
  2. Carry out a HAV risk assessment – don’t measure unless you absolutely must. Use your resources to reduce risk. HAV-Base: hand-arm vibration database – low cost virtual assessment by email …never measure vibration again?
  3. Audit your HAV risk management programme and implement best practice for each element. Maintenance, operational factors, working conditions and patterns, ergonomics…
  4. Hire / Buy low vibration tools and plant – base your decision on field vibration data. Include operational, productivity and ergonomic factors as well as levels of hand-arm vibration in your selection criteria and beware HAV data traffic lights….
  5. Vibration control – engineering modifications to reduce tool vibration and exposure. Fundamental engineering design changes, process changes and modifications
  6. Training and useful technical notes. Toolbox talks – management briefings – HAV competency – HAV Management Manual

HAV-Base Hand-Arm Vibration Database – Best Practice in Vibration Risk Assessment

…never measure vibration again – virtual assessment from our vibration database

vibration measurement on hand tools and equipment

Our Hand-Arm Vibration Database contains accurate field data for a huge cross-section of tools and activities. The information can be used to reduce the time, costs and resources required to carry out high quality risk assessments by 80% or more. This approach is also in keeping with the current HSE recommendation to use reliable published data wherever possible. It is much better to invest your time and resources in risk management rather than re-inventing the wheel by repeating measurements that have already been made elsewhere.

Obtaining reliable and accurate field data requires costly instrumentation, a high level of practical training, considerable organisation (of both tools and operators) and is a very time consuming and boring passtime. Fortunately, it is now largely unnecessary. Purchasing or using our HAV Database is by far the simplest, quickest and most cost effective approach to HAV risk assessment and management.

Produce automated HAV risk assessments for a set of tools used on a project within minutes, print to pdf and email; decide on the best tools to hire; generate tool vibration statistics to aid maintenance decisions; assess operator exposures for multi-tool use; add new tool data….

NOISE-base adds occupational noise data to the HAV tool information. This simplifies noise and HAV management by keeping all the data on the same, easily accessed system. NOISE-Base also includes automated PPE selection against a comprehensive database of available hearing protection and the calculation of the “safe” working distance within which PPE is mandatory. This is best practice in risk management for mobile plant made simple.

Virtual / Field Measurement HAV Assessment – by email

hav database for vibration risk assessmentAvoid the costs (time, training, instrumentation) and hassles associated with field HAV assessment by using our Virtual Assessment service based on our hand arm vibration database. We provide you with a template tool register, you fill it in, email it to our office and we can then provide you with a low cost vibration risk assessment from the HAV database. Combined with any additional field vibration measurements required, this can reduce your assessment costs by around 70-80% and the time (and hassle – getting all the plant together) involved by up to 95%.

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HAV Management Audit – dramatically reduce your HAV risk management costs

The Audit is the fastest and most effective way to ensure compliance with current best practice in HAV assessment and risk management. It benchmarks your policy and procedures and generates a detailed Action Plan with full technical support based on innovations that can reduce costs by up to 80%.

Contact us for more information on the HAV Management Audit

Hiring and Buying Low Vibration Plant – Buy “Smooth”

Hire Company HAV Data Traffic Lights, Hirer beware!
HAV traffic light vibration value assessment from hire companiesThis is a very important element of “best practice” in HAV risk management. The commonly used hire tool company HAV risk “traffic light” system is supposed to provide information to users about the relative risks from tools. Unfortunately, it can be dangerously misleading as it is based on manufacturers’ declared values that cannot be used for risk assessment. Despite this fact, some of the hire company literature implies that the data can be used for this purpose. Consequently, relying on this data could well leave employers open to potential liability claims as many tools are much more dangerous than the colour coding would suggest. The hand-arm vibration database provides you with the means to specify preferred tool types for any job quickly and easily. The HAV database also provides you with the tools and information you need to implement “best practice” in risk management (statistics, combinations of tools, finger-on-trigger calculations, automatic risk recalculation to meet the regulations …) plus high quality, automated reporting and graphical representations of the data.

Vibration Control Engineering Development

grass mower vibration control to reduce HAVsManufacturers are under increasing commercial pressure from their customers to develop low vibration plant. The innovative low vibration handle developed by the INVC for Dennis Mowers reduced operator exposure from 6m/s2 down to 2m/s2 – without compromising mower control. This is a dramatic improvement that would allow operators to use the mower all day without reaching the 2.5m/s2 Exposure Action Value.

HAV Training

Hand-Arm Vibration training: options include management briefings, HAV competency training (IOSH), supervisor and vibration toolbox talks plus briefings developed specifically for tool suppliers . Material can also be made available for in-house use by your own trainers. The INVC is the major provider of noise and HAV training in the UK and Ireland and is the IOSH approved training organisation for both noise and vibration.

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