24/7 Freephone: 0800 294 4440

12 Months Warranty

£ Price Challenge

  1. Home
  2. vibration

Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005

The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 (the Vibration Regulations), came into force on 6 July 2005 and aim to protect workers from risks to health from vibration. The regulations introduce action and limit values for hand-arm and whole-body vibration.

Hand-arm vibration is vibration transmitted into your hands and arms when you use handheld powered work equipment. Too much exposure to hand-arm vibration can cause hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) and carpal tunnel syndrome. What is hand-arm vibration?

Hand-arm vibration is vibration transmitted into your hands and arms when you use handheld powered work equipment. Too much exposure to hand-arm vibration can cause hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) and carpal tunnel syndrome.

What is hand-arm vibration syndrome?

HAVS affects the nerves, blood vessels, muscles and joints of the hand, wrist and arm. It can become severely disabling if ignored.It includes vibration white finger, which can cause severe pain in the affected fingers.

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a nerve disorder which may involve pain, tingling, numbness and weakness in parts of the hand, and can be caused by, among other things, exposure to vibration.

What are the early signs and symptoms to look out for?

Tingling and numbness in the fingers (which can cause sleep disturbance).

Not being able to feel things with your fingers.

Loss of strength in your hands (you may be less able to pick up or hold heavy objects).

In the cold and wet, the tips of your fingers going white then red and being painful on recovery (vibration white finger).

The numbness in your hands could become permanent and you won’t be able to feel things at all.

If you continue to use high vibration tools these symptoms will probably get worse, for example:

The numbness in your hands could become permanent and you won’t be able to feel things at all.

You will have difficulty picking up small objects such as screws or nails

The vibration white finger could happen more frequently and affect more of your fingers.

When are you at risk?

You are at risk if you regularly use handheld or hand guided power tools and machines such as:

  • Concrete breakers, concrete pokers.
  • Sanders, grinders, disc cutters.
  • Hammer drills.
  • Chipping hammers.
  • Chainsaws, brush cutters, hedge trimmers, powered mowers.
  • Scabblers or needle guns.

You are also at risk if you hold work pieces which vibrate while being processed by powered machinery such as pedestal grinders.

How can you help reduce the risks?

It is your employer’s responsibility to protect you against HAVS and carpal tunnel syndrome, but you should help by asking your employer if your job could be done in a different way without using vibrating tools and machines. If this cannot happen:

  • Ask to use suitable low vibration tools.
  • Always use the right tool for each job (to do the job more quickly and expose you to less hand-arm vibration).
  • Check tools before using them to make sure they have been properly maintained and repaired to avoid increased vibration caused by faults or general wear.
  • Make sure cutting tools are kept sharp so that they remain efficient.
  • Reduce the amount of time you use a tool in one go, by doing other jobs in between.
  • Avoid gripping or forcing a tool or work piece more than you have to.
  • Store tools so that they do not have very cold handles when next used.
  • Encourage good blood circulation by:
  • keeping warm and dry (when necessary, wear gloves, a hat, waterproofs and use heating pads if available)
  • giving up or cutting down on smoking because smoking reduces blood flow; and massaging and exercising your fingers during work breaks.

What else can you do?

Learn to recognise the early signs and symptoms of HAVS.

Report any symptoms promptly to your employer or the person who does your health checks.

Use any control measures your employer has put in place to reduce the risk of HAVS.

Ask your trade union safety representative or employee representative for advice.

For more information on hand-arm vibration, see HSE’s free leaflet Control the risks from hand-arm vibration INDG175 (rev2) and visit HSE’s vibration website at www.hse.gov.uk/vibration

HAVS affects the nerves, blood vessels, muscles and joints of the hand, wrist and arm. It can become severely disabling if ignored.It includes vibration white finger, which can cause severe pain in the affected fingers.

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a nerve disorder which may involve pain, tingling, numbness and weakness in parts of the hand, and can be caused by, among other things, exposure to vibration.

What are the early signs and symptoms to look out for?

Tingling and numbness in the fingers (which can cause sleep disturbance).

Not being able to feel things with your fingers.

Loss of strength in your hands (you may be less able to pick up or hold heavy objects).

In the cold and wet, the tips of your fingers going white then red and being painful on recovery (vibration white finger).

The numbness in your hands could become permanent and you won’t be able to feel things at all.

If you continue to use high vibration tools these symptoms will probably get worse, for example:

The numbness in your hands could become permanent and you won’t be able to feel things at all.

You will have difficulty picking up small objects such as screws or nails

The vibration white finger could happen more frequently and affect more of your fingers.

When are you at risk?

You are at risk if you regularly use handheld or hand guided power tools and machines such as:

  • Concrete breakers, concrete pokers.
  • Sanders, grinders, disc cutters.
  • Hammer drills.
  • Chipping hammers.
  • Chainsaws, brush cutters, hedge trimmers, powered mowers.
  • Scabblers or needle guns.

You are also at risk if you hold work pieces which vibrate while being processed by powered machinery such as pedestal grinders.

How can you help reduce the risks?

It is your employer’s responsibility to protect you against HAVS and carpal tunnel syndrome, but you should help by asking your employer if your job could be done in a different way without using vibrating tools and machines. If this cannot happen:

  • Ask to use suitable low vibration tools.
  • Always use the right tool for each job (to do the job more quickly and expose you to less hand-arm vibration).
  • Check tools before using them to make sure they have been properly maintained and repaired to avoid increased vibration caused by faults or general wear.
  • Make sure cutting tools are kept sharp so that they remain efficient.
  • Reduce the amount of time you use a tool in one go, by doing other jobs in between.
  • Avoid gripping or forcing a tool or work piece more than you have to.
  • Store tools so that they do not have very cold handles when next used.
  • Encourage good blood circulation by:
  • keeping warm and dry (when necessary, wear gloves, a hat, waterproofs and use heating pads if available)
  • giving up or cutting down on smoking because smoking reduces blood flow; and massaging and exercising your fingers during work breaks.

What else can you do?

Learn to recognise the early signs and symptoms of HAVS.

Report any symptoms promptly to your employer or the person who does your health checks.

Use any control measures your employer has put in place to reduce the risk of HAVS.

Ask your trade union safety representative or employee representative for advice.

For more information on hand-arm vibration, see HSE’s free leaflet Control the risks from hand-arm vibration INDG175 (rev2) and visit HSE’s vibration website at www.hse.gov.uk/vibration

At Slingsby we offer Industrial & Commercial Equipment

With FREE Next Day Delivery* on all stock lines.

  • The right products at the right price
  • Delivery when you want it
  • Friendly technical support
  • Easy returns
  • 12 months warranty