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In late 2018, Network Rail carried out a review of its vibration risk controls. The firm already had robust processes in place, but was keen to develop best practice -- so it issued operators with Curotec's new Q2 personal vibration monitor. And what happened next was a revelation.
Like many employers, Network Rail had been using traditional risk assessments that relied on estimated vibration values. But with Q2 installed, managers were able to measure actual vibration levels in real time, and it quickly became clear that the standard estimated values weren't always accurate -- in some cases, massively undervaluing true vibration dose.
In the case of one particular tool (a hand-held angle grinder), the assumed vibration magnitude indicated a trigger time of 42 minutes to exposure action value (EAV). But data from Q2's continual measurement showed that EAV was reached in just 2 minutes 51 seconds.
This clearly demonstrates the shortcomings of traditional vibration risk assessments, and highlights the benefits of continual monitoring -- Q2's real-time alerts warned the operator before they suffered potentially dangerous exposure.
Mike Jones, founder of Berkshire-based Curotec said: "Hand-arm vibration syndrome is an archaic industrial disease which has no place in the 21st century -- and thanks to the Q2, the technology now exists to accurately measure and manage vibration exposure in real time."
The results show that tool vibration emission is potentially an unreliable method of assessing in-use tool vibration exposure as it fails to capture the effects that different operative posture and operative skill have on the human response. This may contribute to uncertainty relating to the assessment of risk when based upon a point in time tool vibration magnitude. Such uncertainty is likely to contribute to the continuing reporting of injury and illness associated with excessive and inadequately controlled vibration exposure.
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High rise buildings of all descriptions often involve multiple stakeholders: the developer, the owner, the landlord, the facilities management company and, last but not least, the occupiers - who could be business owners, employers - so who is accountable in the event of a fire? Building use and renting are becoming increasingly fluid. The rise of shared and collaborative workspaces, hot desking and short-term leasing makes it easy to lose sight of the importance of clear communications around fire safety and evacuation, especially when your occupiers are transient.
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Matt's potential was quickly recognised and he was chosen to be part of the organisations fast track management programme. By 2001, he had worked his way up to store manager, but had become interested in health and safety. He took the NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety, which helped him into his first health and safety role. He then went on to gain the NEBOSH National Certificate in Fire Safety and Risk Management and NEBOSH Certificate in Environmental Management.