1 Machinery vibration measures

Machinery Vibration Measures

By Mark Foley

Millions of employees are exposed daily to potentially harmful levels of hand-arm vibrations (HAV), when operating powered hand-held machinery, which may lead to medical conditions such as vibration white finger.

Although employers have a legal duty, under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, to prevent or reduce unreasonable exposure levels, legislation does not compel minimum standards for the health and safety of workers exposed to HAV or whole body vibration (WBV).

Selection of machinery and tools according to vibration emission may not be a sufficient risk reduction measure when the duration of task is also considered.

An E.U. Directive will become law in the U.K. by 2007 and will require employers to adopt specific controls relating to, the level, type and duration of exposure action or emission limit values, being endured over an eight or forty hour working period.

Risk assessments will highlight unacceptable levels of exposure to vibration and may result in recommendations for changes to working practice and the removal or repair of hazardous machinery and tools.

Specifics of the new law will come into effect gradually, allowing employers, time to comply; compliance will be required by, 2007 for machinery purchased during or after 2007 and 2010 for machinery already in use by 2007.

Contact Dave Saltman at Pitchcare on 01902 824392 or e-mail mail@pitchcare.comfor further information.

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