Industrial Noise & Vibration Centre

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HAVS risk reduction programme element guide

minimum HAVS risk control

The following is a step-by-step check list of the components of any effective HAV risk management programme that should be included in any risk assessment report. Contact us for more on any of the element(s) for which you need more information.

  1. Create a vibrating tool/plant register: always takes much longer and turns up many more tools than expected. Ensure there is sufficient information to define a tool and operation (“blue drill” is not sufficient!). At least make, model, accessory, the operation for which it is used and the material (metal, plastic, grass, scrub etc). Download and fill in our open-source HAV tool register and email to us to evaluate the assessment options for you (see below).
  2. HAV risk assess – don’t measure unless you absolutely must. Surely everyone has already done this? The key HSE message is: “Don’t measure vibration unless you absolutely must”. Get a fast, very low-cost virtual assessment by from our online HAVS database by email and use your resources to reduce risk instead.
  3. Implement an effective HAV risk management programme: include operational factors, working conditions, behaviour, ergonomics, symptom reporting systems etc. It does not include PPE as there is none.
  4. Reduce vibration via tool maintenance and vibration control measures: use HAVBase stats to evaluate which tools pose an increased risk as they wear to prioritise maintenance schedules. Increases in tool vibration from range from completely unaffected to very sensitive to tool condition. Retro-fit engineering modifications can substantially reduce vibration in some cases.
  5. Hire / Buy low vibration tools: base decisions on operational, productivity and ergonomic factors as well as levels of hand-arm vibration. Note: the common HAV traffic light system is based on manufacturers’ data that will often seriously underestimate risk.
  6. Training: as operator risk is very dependent on behaviour, training is an important risk management element – toolbox talks, management briefings and full HAV competency training as appropriate.
  7. Health Surveillance: introduce a programme for all workers likely to be exposed above the Exposure Action Value (A(8) of 2.5 m/s^2). This includes education, reporting system, health checks and communication.
  8. Audit the programme: check you are implementing best practice for all the elements above, in practice, not just on paper. We often find the audit will show disconnects between theory and practice and risk management can be improved in parallel with significant cost savings.