Hand Arm Vibration Survey

HARM (Hand Arm Risk Measurement), refers to the process of carrying out Risk Assessments on employees who are likely to come into contact with Hand Transmitted Vibrations (HTV) or are involved in Repetitive actions. These can often lead to injury, absence and ever-increasing compensation for recognised industrial diseases such as Vibration White Finger (VWF).

Vibration in industry is likely to become an area of statute, much in the same way as COSHH and Noise at Work. There is already a proposal for legislation which includes Noise, Vibration, Optical Radiation and Fields and Waves, as well as HSE guidance notes.

HARM is measured by establishing an 8-hour Vibration Exposure A(8), using a Castle GA2003 HARM Vibration Meter.
A(8) daily exposure to HARM is basically a frequency weighted RMS value of the vibration acceleration based on an 8-hour working day.

To measure vibration, a physical contact is normally made with a vibrating surface, this is done with an accelerometer, which is a piezo-electric crystal mounted usually in a metal block with a connector on the outside. When there is movement (vibration), the crystal creates a small electric current which is then measured to gauge the level of vibration.

The Regulations allow a transitional period for the limit value until July 2010. This only applies to work equipment already in use before July 2007. The exposure limit value may be exceeded during the transitional period as long as you have complied with all the other requirements of the Regulations and taken all reasonably practicable actions to reduce exposure as much as you can.

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There are 2 readings for Vector Sum (RMS)

2.5m/s² A(8)
This is the Exposure Action Level (EAV)

Assessment, measurement and evaluation of exposure must be carried out.

Risk must be reduced
Information and training must be supplied to workers
Workers are also entitled to regular health surveillance

Personal Protective Equipment, when it becomes available, should be used.

5m/s² A(8)
This is the Exposure Limit Value (ELV) and exposure above this level is prohibited

Equipment must be marked
Activities must be declared to the HSE

The exposure limit value (ELV) is the maximum amount of vibration an employee may be exposed to on any single day. For hand-arm vibration, the ELV is a daily exposure of 5 m/s² A(8). It represents a high risk above which employees should not be exposed.

Eagle Safety and Environment Limited can undertake detailed measurements of all equipment and provide recommendations within the report, on reducing levels/replacing equipment etc, to reduce risks to employees.