If, as a company, you use equipment that produces a high level of vibration or uncomfortable strains on hands and arms, it is your responsibility and legal requirement, to undertake regular risk assessments to ensure the health and safety of those employees that could be exposed to this risk.
Workers who use hand-held or hand-guided power tools for more than a few hours each day are at risk of vibration white finger (VWF). The risk of developing hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) increases with the intensity and duration of exposure to vibration, and continued exposure results in worsening symptoms.
A risk assessment will identify where there is exposure to these risks and should include:
- Where there might be a risk from vibration and who could be affected e.g. list of machineries and those utilising them.
- An estimate of your employees’ level of exposure.
- An outline of what you need to do to comply with the law e.g. if vibration control measures are required, and, if so, where and what type.
- Identification of any employees whose health needs to be monitored.
Once risks have been identified an action plan that demonstrates how you intend to deal with the issues raised should be put in place - along with a timescale and who is responsible. You will also require a policy for managing vibration risks.
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