Industrial Noise & Vibration Centre

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HAVBase - effective HAVS risk management simplified

HAVS vibration measurement dosimetry systems do not comply with the standard

Vibration monitoring is beset by deliberately disingenuous marketing claims. This particularly applies to "vibration dosimetry" which seems plausible, but currently isn't. Continuous vibration monitoring is also specifically deprecated by the HSE as it can lead to wasted resources and a false sense of security re risk management.

None of the current vibration measuring "dosimetry" systems comply with the BS EN ISO 5349 standard for HAVS risk assessment as the transducers are not correctly coupled to the tool.

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Quoting the Advertising Standards Authority judgment, these devices "... did not provide ELV or EAV data that was required by the Regulations and were not, therefore, suitable for risk assessments of hand-arm vibration as set out by the Regulations…" Consequently, unless correctly measured values can be input, they can only be used as tool timers as they do not provide accurate vibration dose data. HSE research indicates a 20% variation on the same task and we have measured inaccuracies of between -28% and +240% - and that assumes the monitor is fitted to the highest vibration hand...

The HAVS risk management alternatives

havbase smartphone tool vibration data

If it can be shown to be a cost-effective option, any form of HAVS monitoring risk management system that provides dose estimates that can be compared with the EAV and ELV values in the regulations must be based on BS EN ISO 5349 vibration data. Therefore the only option is to use tool trigger times coupled with BS 5349 data to estimate dose, not vibration values from watches or gloves etc. Depending on the working environment, this can be achieved by one of the following methods:-

  • use statistical (worst-case) trigger times for typical activities combined with data for the tools used. Paper or spreadsheet. Simple.
  • use tool timer monitoring systems to measure trigger times. Combine the times with tool vibration data as above - some systems can do this automatically when provided with suitable field use vibration values for the activity.
  • HAVBase (also includes noise data) online database and risk management system for both HAVS and noise on both desktop and mobile devices.
minimum cost HAVS risk control

That is not to say that some of these monitoring systems may not sometimes be useful. For high-risk activities, they could be used to increase awareness for example. The key issue when making a decision is to carry out a cost/benefit analysis, comparing the actual, practical benefits with the alternative risk reduction measures recommended by the HSE.

Bear in mind that there have been massive fines for organisations that implemented continuous monitoring systems but could not show they had put adequate risk management processes in place. Should you rely on vibration dosimetry devices that purport to provide data that can be compared with the regulatory EAV and ELV figures for your risk assessments, it could be difficult to defend any HAVS claims.

HAVBase - HAVS (+ noise) risk management - by anyone anywhere

Fast, low-cost, and highly effective HAVS and noise risk management system.

HAVS management - mandatory steps

Initial mandatory requirements for any HAVS management programme.

  1. create an accurate and comprehensive tool register across all sites
  2. acquire accurate field vibration data for each tool activity. There may be 2 or more different activities for some tools, each with a different vibration value.
  3. acquire reasonably accurate trigger times for each activity and combine with 2 to calculate tool user doses
  4. rank vibration dose contributions to aid risk reduction

HAVBase simplifies

The simple and effective way to meet those requirements.

sites enter quality-checked tool data online to create your tool register
field vibration database provides a fast, low-cost virtual tool activity vibration assessment as per HSE guidance
enter trigger times for automatic tool user dose calculations and reporting
dose contributions automatically ranked

Virtual HAVS risk assessment

At it's simplest, HAVBase can be used for virtual HAVS risk assessments. Just send us your tool register and we can cost a virtual assessment as per the HSE guidance. This is rapid and very much lower cost than measurement.

HAVBase mobile on-site

View tool HAV + noise data summary

havbase smartphone tool vibration data

Pull-up and view tool data including photo and trigger times to reach both EAV and ELV and the operator noise level.

Update trigger times

havbase smartphone HAV vibration data

Enter new trigger times for the viewed tool for an instant update to the daily dose and exposure points.

View operator noise data

havbase smartphone noise data

View noise data and the "safe" working distance for PPE.

Wear PPE within distance

Desktop risk management tools

1 Automated risk management reports

HAVBase automated reporting docs

Select a site or department to generate an instant risk assessment report for both HAVS and noise. Combine this with HAVBase risk reduction advice and document the implementation of any risk reduction measures.

2 Project risk prediction

Simply select the tools and activities planned for the proposed project to generate an instant HAVS and noise risk assessment report.

havbase project equipment list risk prediction

A task that might previously have taken days can be completed within minutes.

3 Buy/Hire Smooth guidance

HAVBase buy smooth

Selecting tools for purchase or for hire must take vibration risk into account. HAVBase allows you to run a very rapid comparison of typical "as used" field vibration values to choose the lowest risk tool options.

4 Tool maintenance guidance

havbase tool vibration maintenance statistics

The levels of vibration for some types of tools can rise rapidly with wear, increasing HAVS risks. Other tools show little or no change as they age. HAVBase provides the statistics you need to optimise tool maintenance schedules.

5 Hearing protection database

If you need to use conventional hearing protection for high-risk activities, HAVBase includes a comprehensive PPE database that automatically provides assumed protection values.

HAVBase ppe database safe distance

It also calculates the "safe" working distance within which PPE must be worn to facilitate onsite policing.

6 Company documentation and training material

havbase HAVS risk management documents

In addition to the risk assessment and management facilities, HAVBase also provides an accessible online hub for all company HAVS (and noise) documentation.

A single repository for updated best practices and the documenting of risk management processes and changes that can be accessed by anyone from anywhere (with levels of access security).

havbase HAVS risk management training

This can also include education and training materials (toolbox talks, management briefings etc) plus any updates to regulations and HSE guidance.

Under development

In conjunction with our partner, EAVE, we are developing an updated system that combines all of the functionality described above with their hardware. This includes the intelligent EAVE hearing protectors that communicate with on-tool tags to provide both noise and vibration dosimetry. The latter is based on HAVBase field vibration measurements to BS 5349 to ensure that the dose values can be compared with the regulatory EAV and ELV criteria for accurate risk assessment. A comprehensive and effective noise and HAVS risk measurement and reduction system for high-risk activities.