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Noise and Vibration at Work Training Courses
The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 are the United Kingdom’s response to a European Directive, which requires all member states to maintain similar laws regarding the protection of employees from Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS). This is a progressive and irreversible industrial injury that can arise from exposure to vibration that may be transmitted by hand held power tools.
They are published by the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
They have replaced HAVS guidance that was first published by the HSE in 1994 and where applicable, they should be adhered to along with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
As a result of the regulations, employers with operations in the UK have various duties and a responsibility to protect; their own employees; and so far as reasonably practicable any other person at their workplace who is affected by the work they do.
The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 Part 1
For any obligated organisation, the FIVE KEY REGULATIONS in Part 1 are:
Regulation 2 - Interpretation
Regulation 4 - Exposure limit values and action values
Regulation 5 - Assessment of the risk to health created by exposure to vibration at the workplace
Regulation 6 - Elimination or control of exposure to vibration at the workplace
Regulation 7 - Heath surveillance
Regulation 8 - Information, instruction and training
The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 Schedule 1
Schedule 1 of the regulations sets out the mathematical equations required for the calculating levels of exposure to hand arm vibration, based on actual HAV meter measurements.
The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 Parts 2,3,4 & 5
These detailed parts of the regulations provide specific instructions to obligated organisations and are as follows:
Part 2 - Assessing vibration risks and developing an action plan for control
Part 3 - Practical control of vibration exposure and risk
Part 4 - Information from manufacturers and suppliers of machinery
Part 5 - Heath surveillance for HAVS
Two Major Concepts That Dominate the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005
A vibration intensity scale to which exposure action values and limit values have been applied by the HSE.
An employer duty to identify and eliminate or reduce the exposure of individuals to vibration at work, by controlling exposure durations and/or minimising the vibration arising from hand-held power tools.
The HSE deems that with almost every organisation has a person who is responsible for maintaining a hand arm vibration risk assessment and management plan. Such a management plan requires more than simply recording exposure to hand arm vibration at work – systems must be maintained that limit the exposure. The responsible person is accountable to the HSE even when HAVS assessments are outsourced to consultants.
The official HSE publication “Hand Arm Vibration: The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 (Guidance on Regulations)” can be downloaded free from the HSE website. It is also available to buy in hard copy from the HSE and other online retailers (ISBN 0-7176-6125-3). The regulations have a Wikipedia entry as well.
The Institute of Occupation Safety and Health (IOSH) is a major authority on hand arm vibration. They provide the accreditation for the Focus Health and Safety Vibration at Work Competency Courses, which are delivered by the Industrial Noise and Vibration Centre (INVC) Ltd.
Focus Health and Safety offer an excellent Vibration at Work training:
2-day HAVS Course with IOSH accreditation (This course is indispensable for any health and safety professional whose role concerns the current hand arm vibration laws).
We can also assist with HAVS assessments. You may also wish to read about the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, which are similar to those for vibration.
The regulations place certain duties and a responsibility on employees as well.
Self-employed people must also comply with these regulations (in accordance with the responsibilities of both employer and employee).