SafetyCulture iAuditor

HAVS Assessment Templates

Evaluate and control exposure to hand-arm vibration risks using the iAuditor mobile app

Published 9 Aug 2021

What is a HAVS Assessment?

A Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) Assessment is a process conducted by trained safety officers to identify, evaluate, and control workers’ exposure to hand-arm vibration risks. Construction workers are primarily at risk of developing HAVS due to prolonged use of vibrating tools and equipment such as concrete breakers, hammer drills, and grinders.

This article covers:

Employers in the UK have the legal obligation to maintain hand-arm vibration limits and implement measures to reduce exposure. The UK Vibration Regulations 2005 require employers to carry out regular HAVS assessments to prevent the development of HAVS and other related lifelong health issues among employees.

What are the Hazards of Vibration?

The hazards of vibration and HAVS symptoms become more apparent with prolonged exposure to vibration. Unfortunately, these negative effects of vibration on the body only become more noticeable when the symptoms get worse. Here are some examples:

  • Tingling and/or numbness of fingers
  • Signs of whitening of the fingers
  • Unable to sense light touch
  • Losing grip strength
  • Growth of bone cysts on fingers and wrists

Evaluating and Controlling the Risk of HAVS

HAVS is a permanent condition affecting the nerves and blood vessels of the hand. In 2018, a contractor was fined over $600,000 (£500,000) and was ordered to pay costs of more than $200,000 (£195,000) on account of poor compliance with Vibration Regulations.

Safety officers evaluate hand-arm vibration risks by determining the exposure level of a construction worker. The exposure level is expressed in points derived from the vibration magnitude of a vibrating tool or equipment and the trigger time, which is the amount of time the worker used the vibrating tool. Here is a classification of exposure levels and the corresponding level of priority in implementing controls:

HAVS Assessment

HAVS Assessment Exposure Level and Level of Priority

For medium to high priority hand-arm vibration risks, the most effective control of exposure is to eliminate the source of vibration. Construction managers should set time limits of vibrating tool or equipment use and implement a systematic plan for job rotations.

For low priority hand-arm vibration risks, HAVS assessments should be reviewed when there are significant changes in the job of a worker and in site conditions. Safety officers should record and monitor all exposure levels and controls in the HAVS assessment..

Powerful Mobile App to Streamline HAVS Assessments

Recording and monitoring HAVS assessments using pen and paper can be a regulatory burden. Employers and safety officers can overcome the tediousness and inefficiency of paper-based HAVS assessments using iAuditor, the world’s most powerful inspection software.

  • Perform HAVS assessments on your mobile device
    Safety officers can complete a HAVS assessment whether they have internet access or not. Access your digital HAVS assessment templates on any iOS, Android, or Windows smartphone or tablet. Save time by instantly generating and sharing a HAVS assessment report with the tap of a finger!
  • Capture photo evidence of vibration sources
    Easily document the vibrating tools and equipment a worker is exposed to by taking pictures and annotating them. If workers show any symptoms of HAVS, you can take pictures of their hands for appropriate health surveillance. All data is secured and automatically saved in the cloud!
  • Assign actions to workers or construction managers
    iAuditor by SafetyCulture enables safety officers to create actions containing control of exposure details, due date, and priority. The assignee will be notified in real-time via email, SMS, or push notification. Immediately eliminate medium to high priority hand-arm vibration risk.
SafetyCulture Content Specialist

Shine Colcol

Shine Colcol is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2019, mostly covering topics about health and safety, environmental, and operations management. She is passionate in empowering teams to build a culture of continuous improvement through well-researched and engaging content. Her experience in cross-industry digital publishing help enrich the quality of information in her articles.

Shine Colcol is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2019, mostly covering topics about health and safety, environmental, and operations management. She is passionate in empowering teams to build a culture of continuous improvement through well-researched and engaging content. Her experience in cross-industry digital publishing help enrich the quality of information in her articles.