Hand-arm vibration is the vibration that is transmitted into the hands and arms when using power tools such as drills and sanders. Frequent exposure to hand-arm vibration is dangerous and can lead to permanent damage to the blood vessels, nerves and joints in the hands and arms. This damage, and the injuries it causes, is known as hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) or vibration white finger.
In order to manage exposure to vibration in the workplace, there are regulations in place that set out the maximum amount of vibration an employee can be exposed to in a single day and the point at which additional measures to control vibration are required. These are known as:
We have created a useful calculator that you can use to work out an employee’s daily vibration exposure.
Daily exposure in m/s² A(8):
Total exposure points:
Simply put the name of the tool in the first box, the magnitude of the tool in m/s² in the second box (which will be provided by the tool’s manufacturer) and the time it will be used in hours in the final box. Do this for all of the tools an employee will use in a single day, click ‘submit’ and the calculator will show you their daily vibration exposure and where it falls between the exposure limit and exposure action values.
Further information on vibration, HAVS and exposure values is covered in this dedicated HAVS article and our vibration awareness training course: