How Can HAVS Be Managed?
For The Employer:
- Can the job be done without using high Vibration tools?
- Make sure that new tools have vibration control built in.
- Modify existing tools to reduce vibration levels or the grip force needed.
- Use tools with high power to weight ratio.
- Ensure tools are regularly maintained to a high standard.
- Refrain from using worn out tools.
- Re-route air exhaust away from the operator’s hands (Pneumatic tools).
- Arrange work to give the operator breaks away from vibration (e.g. Job rotation).
- Training in the correct use of tools (and in using the right tool for the job) and in recognising the early symptoms of Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).
- Arrange advice and routine health checks for employees using high vibration tools.
- Assist operators to keep warm in cold weather (e.g. by providing heating or suitable clothing and gloves.
For The Employee:
- Report any tools or processes to your supervisor which produce high levels of vibration, so consideration can be given to reducing the risk.
- Ask your employer if the job can be done in a different way without using vibrating tools.
- Co-Operate with any new working methods introduced to reduce the risk.
- Use low vibration tools whenever possible.
- Always use the right tool for the job, and store tools properly.
- Check tools before use to ensure that they are properly maintained and repaired.
- Make sure cutting tools are kept sharp, and grinding wheels are in balance.
- Reduce the time spent in continuous use of the tools, by doing other jobs in between.
- Avoid gripping or forcing the tool more than necessary and wherever possible use different grips.
- Encourage good blood circulation by
- Keeping warm and dry.
- Avoid smoking before and during work.
- Exercising your hands and fingers to improve blood flow.
- Learn and recognise the signs of vibration injury, and report any symptoms to your employer.
- Provide tool support to take the weight of the tool.
Together we can make real change