People engage with all sorts of machines every day; meaning that contact with vibration is inevitable. Regrettably, continued exposure to mechanical vibration may result in serious injury. How the human body is effected, depends upon levels and frequency of vibration plus exposure duration.
How to Understand Hand Arm Vibration
The definition of Hand Arm Vibration
What is HAVS?
Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome is an accepted terminology that describes physical damage from chronic exposure to excessive vibration to workers’ hands, fingers, and related joints.
Common Physical injuries include:
Deciding on the HAV Risk
Considerations that may identify areas of concern:
A) Are power tools used appropriately plus do any workers a medical diagnosis regarding injury?
B) Have any employees reported tingling or a “pins and needles” sensation in their fingers?
C) Have any cases of HAVS already been documented by your workplace?
HAV Exposure Limits
Whilst no workplace exposure standard exists for HAV in Australia, vibration exposure limits have been decided by European Directive 2002/44/EC and also the American Conference of Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). The Australian Standard AS 2763 ‘Vibration and shock – Hand Transmitted Vibration’ does not provide exposure limits but it does outline a guide to probability for the development of VWF at different exposure levels. Limits for maximum exposure which are called the Threshold Limit Value (TLV) and action levels are shown below.
Measuring HAV Exposure
Yes, it’s possible to measure and report the vibration levels produced by handheld equipment using products such as the Larson Davis HVM200. The HVM200 provides all the functionality needed to measure human exposure to vibration. Safe Work Australia has a guide to measuring workplace HAV exposure, read it here.
In Europe, Directive 202/44/EC has been implemented to define “exposure limits” and “exposure action values”. This specifies an employer’s obligations with regard to determining and assessing risks. Also, Machinery Directive 98/37/EC requires anyone providing power tools or machinery for use in Europe must provide vibration exposure data.
In Australia, OHSA has not regulated limits to exposure for vibration standards. However, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has developed Threshold Limit Values (TLV’s) for vibration exposure and advises that these values be applied in conjunction with other protective measures. As mentioned above, any manufacturer providing equipment to Europe must comply with the Machinery Directive.
Some of the ISO standards related to Hand-arm vibration are listed below:
For more information about the HVM200 visit: www.johnmorrisgroup.com/AU/Industrial/Product/28578/Human-Vibration-Meter-HVM200
To find out more about the Hand Arm Vibration Monitoring
Contact our John Morris team toll-free:
AUS 1800 251 799 and NZ 0800 651 700
About John Morris Industrial
As providers of complete solutions for noise and vibration measurement and analysis, John Morris Industrial partners with the region’s leading engineers and scientists to deliver solutions for the measurement of acceleration, force, load, pressure, shock, strain, torque, noise and vibration. John Morris Group has a proud family heritage spanning almost 60 years. We specialise in the supply, installation and servicing of technical instrumentation and consumables covering diverse industry sectors throughout Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific region.