Monitoring Hand Arm Vibration

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Measuring, monitoring and recording vibration exposure are not controlling vibration exposure, and it is the control that is key to protecting and preserving workers’ health. In this video, Teli Chinelis discusses vibration-monitoring devices and their pros and cons.

There are several products on the market for the monitoring of daily vibration exposures.

These are of varying sophistication and cost, but they generally consist of a device that can be attached to a vibrating tool and which measures the cumulative duration of operation within a working day.

They may also be pre-programmed with a vibration magnitude intended to represent the likely magnitude associated with typical use of the tool or tools and will alert the user when the calculated exposure action value and/or exposure limit value is reached.

These devices may be helpful during the process of exposure and risk assessment; for example, where a tool is used intermittently throughout the working day it can be difficult to determine typical daily vibration exposure durations.

The use of a monitoring device over a few days of typical work might produce a better picture of the daily exposure and how it may vary.

However, there is no requirement in the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 for continual monitoring of exposures.

One concern related to the use of monitoring devices that alert the user that they have reached the exposure action or limit value is that they can provide a temptation to control the risk by stopping work when the limit value is reached. It is probably unrealistic and unreasonable to expect an employee who has been given a job to do, to stop working because their vibration exposure has reached its maximum permitted level. It is likely that the need to meet deadlines or complete tasks will prevent this from happening.

Moreover, such actions will not achieve compliance with the regulations, which require that the risk is reduced to as low a level as is reasonably practicable. This can only be done by means of a risk assessment and appropriate actions to eliminate risk or reduce it to the lowest level that is reasonably practicable.

If you would like further information in relation to the monitoring of vibration exposure, then please contact Finch Consulting and we‘ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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