Information for Employers
Following the introduction of the European Physical Agents (Vibration) Directive 2002/44/EC, employers now have a duty of care to ensure their workers are not exposed to potentially harmful vibration levels.
How do I protect my workers?
Worker protection begins with risk assessment. Workers performing tasks that involve continuous tool use for prolonged periods or the use of heavy duty hammers and picks are most at risk. To protect these workers it is recommended that you implement a workplan that involves some / all of the following measures as appropriate to the potential risk:
- Ensure workers are kept warm and dry, especially their hands and arms.
- Rotate workers performing tasks that involve above average vibration exposure such as concrete breaking.
- Choose good quality power tools that incorporate vibration reduction technologies. In doing so it is still important to consider the performance of the tool. Some power tools that advertise low vibration features will have lower performance and so your workers will take longer to perform their tasks. Using a tool that cuts vibration exposure by 50% but takes twice as long to perform the job will not lessen your worker's vibration exposure and may cost you in lost time and productivity. Consider range of UVP low vibration power tools as a good option that combine reduced vibration exposure to workers without compromising on performance.
How do I assess a tool's vibration performance?
To assess the potential risk, find the vibration measurement for the tool and convert the value to trigger time.To perform the conversion click here. This conversion will give 2 values. The first, known as the EAV (Exposure Action Value) acts a warning signal for you to take measures that will minimise workers vibration exposure for the rest of the day. The second value, known as the ELV (Exposure Limit Value) sets the maximum time that your workers should use a tool in a single working day. Once this value has been reached the worker should refrain from using vibrating tools for the rest of the day. Note the time is given as "trigger-time" and represents the total use time for the tool not including stoppages. Any stoppages such as lunch breaks or non-tool work and preparation should be added to calculate the maximum job time for using the tool.