Summary of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 and related HSE guidance
28th January 2019
Of greatest importance, due to some market confusion, is to highlight that the HSE's response to Q7 of the Q&A on vibration exposure monitoring should not be considered in isolation. The response is only in reference to the measurement of vibration magnitude, which the HSE advise is not a legal requirement for employers when assessing HAV exposure risk if other suitable data is available.
An employer's duties when assessing HAVS exposure risk, are set out in the regulations and related HSE guidance. Excerpts from which are summarised below and further detailed within the paper on the topic of assessing daily exposure to HAV.
*Please note the full paper with references to excerpts is available to download at http://bit.ly/2LX3PBV
An employer who is liable to expose employees to vibration risk shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risk. This is so vibration is either eliminated at source or, where not reasonably practicable, reduced to as low a level as is reasonably practicable (ref 1*).
To assess exposure to HAVS at or above an exposure action value or above an exposure limit value (ref 2*), an evaluation of time "on tool" and hand transmitted vibration magnitude is required to calculate HAV daily exposure (ref 6*).
Determination of vibration magnitude for an assessment of HAV exposure does NOT under the Regulation, require the measurement of a tool's vibration in compliance to specific standards (ref 1, 5, 8 & 9*).
The regulation requires the employer to assess vibration risk by reference to relevant information on the probable magnitude of the vibration corresponding to the equipment used in the particular working conditions (ref 2, 4, 7*).
Obtaining data for vibration magnitude in compliance with standards does NOT mean that it is suitable for a risk assessment unless it is also ensured that it is representative of the task being assessed (ref 3, 4, 10, 11*).
The HSE FAQ guidance does NOT advise that wrist worn devices are unsuitable as an aid to allow an employer to assess risk to comply with Regulations but that they are unsuitable for on-tool measurements.