Management of occupational vibration risk
As an employer, it is preferable that you develop methods to eliminate risk rather than seeking to control it to a ‘safe’ level and this is an important principle of the legislation concerning occupational vibration exposure.
The risk from hand-arm vibration can, where it is practicable, be eliminated by changing the method by which a task involving vibrating equipment is done and generally, this means applying established good practice, which can often also be cost-effective.
Here are some examples:
- You can replace the breaking of asphalt or concrete using a machine-mounted pick or other ‘ hands-free’ method in preference to hand-held breakers.
- You may use modern foundry technologies to improve casting quality and accuracy, in order to eliminate, or reduce, the need for fettling with hand-held grinders.
- You can prepare steel surfaces for painting using methods such as abrasive blasting or water jetting in place of needle guns and other percussive scaling tools.
When an employer has done all that is reasonably practicable to eliminate vibration risks, there may still be some tasks that require the use of vibrating equipment and which put employees’ health at risk. The Vibration Regulations require a programme of preventive measures where such a risk is identified and in any case if the Exposure Action Value is likely to be reached or exceeded.
If you would like further information on how to simply and cost-effectively manage vibration risks at work, then please contact Finch Consulting and we‘ll get back to you as soon as possible.
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