Sysco Environmental Ltd are a provider of hand arm vibration assessments in the workplace. We have participated in thousands of projects over the last few years and understand the consequences and devastating health issues derived from over exposure to vibration in the workplace.
Sysco carry out HAV assessments by using the appropriate methodology as defined by the relevant guidance. All HAV assessments carried out by Sysco are done so in strict accordance with the HSE documentation ‘L140 – The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005’ and other relevant guidance. The regulations specify the responsibilities of employers, employees and machinery manufacturers in reducing the risk of HAV at work.
The vibration survey will begin with an initial site walk around with one of our qualified occupational hygiene consultants. Our consultant would familiarise himself with the layout of the site, the tools being used and the associated tasks.
The consultant would then group operatives into ‘exposure groups’. Within each exposure group, all employees are likely to carry out similar activities for similar periods of time using the same tools; for example, welders and fabricators.
Measures would then be taken at the grip position of the tool as typical daily operations were conducted by employees. Depending on the number of handles a tool has, for example, the foregrip and the back handle, two or more measurements can be performed. The frequent vibration exposure is then calculated from the estimated vibration magnitudes and is likely to expose the employee to the vibration.
Single vibration measurements will provide a partial daily exposure level of group of employees. All measurements within each group are then combined into a Daily Personal Exposure Level for each group of employees. This is the most likely approximation of real-life typical exposure of your employees.
Sysco carried out a recent HAV assessment that measured the use of hand-held drills, air blowers, pillar drills and grinders in an automotive setting. This assessment was carried out using the above methodology to ensure a fair and legitimate assessment in line with the specified regulations. These tools were tested, and the relevant details were documented in the below table respectively:
per day (Minutes)
|Handle Position||Points per hour||Points per day|
|Power Drill||5||Handle||5||0 points in 5 minutes of use|
|Air Blower||120||Handle||3||7 points in 120 minutes of use|
|Pillar Drill||5||Main Handle||3||0 points in 5 minutes of use|
|Grinder||5||Handle||8||1 point in 5 minutes of use|
The ‘points’ in this table refer to the points system created by the HSE to understand the impact of tool usage. The Exposure Action Value (2.5 m/s2 A(8)) is equal to 100 points and the exposure limit value (5 m/s2 A(8)) is equal to 400 points. Therefore, on a working day, if an employee reaches 100 points (EAV), action is required to control the exposure. With regards to 400 points (ELV), this is the maximum amount of vibration an employee may be exposed to on any single day.
Exposure points change simply with time, so for example, double the exposure time is equal to twice the number of points.
This information informs the employer of the total amount of points daily tasks equal to and gives them an exact idea of how much risk of HAV there is.
Strict adherence to HAV regulations needs to be taken as HAVS (Hand arm vibration syndrome) is irreversible and extremely damaging to health.