What is a HAVS Assessment?
A Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) Assessment is a process conducted by trained safety officers to evaluate and control 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.
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. This article covers:
- How to evaluate and control exposure to hand-arm vibration risks
- Mobile app you can use to streamline HAVS assessments
- HAVS assessment templates you download and customize
Click here to download top 5 HAVS assessment templates
Evaluating and Controlling HAVS
HAVS is a permanent condition affecting the nerves and blood vessels of the hand. Employers in the UK have the legal obligation to maintain hand-arm vibration limits and implement measures to reduce exposure. In 2018, a contractor was fined £500,000 and was ordered to pay costs of £195,000 on account of poor compliance with the 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 (how long a worker used it). Here is a classification of exposure levels and the corresponding level of priority in implementing controls:
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 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, text (SMS), or push notification. Immediately eliminate medium to high priority hand-arm vibration risk!