A guide to preventing Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)

10 December 2017

Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome is a serious condition that occurs in workers who were operating heavy machinery such as chainsaws, grinders, impact drills, concrete breakers and rammers, as well as other power tools that vibrate when in use.

One of the ways to prevent HAVS is to ensure that power tools used for construction are in great condition and well maintained, although there are other considerations. At Talisman Plant and Tool Hire we have a variety of construction equipment for hire, to ensure that your workers are kept safe on site and that a high standard of work is maintained.

What is HAVS?

HAVS is a condition caused by exposure to machinery that vibrates, causing different types of damage to the body. The longer the duration and greater the intensity of vibration, the greater amount of potential damage. HAVS can cause neurological damage (tingling, pain and loss of sensation especially in the hands and fingers), vascular damage (restricted blood flow causing blanching of the fingers) as well as long term damage to the bones and muscle tissue from repeated impact.

How to prevent HAVS?

Working with power tools, there is always a risk involved – which is why such stringent safety measures need to be adhered to. The risk of HAVS can be minimised by:

Use equipment which was specifically designed to reduce vibration in the hand and arms of operators. At TALISMAN Hire the procurement of such equipment is of utmost importance.

Using high quality tools that are well maintained. Old equipment that is not in the best working order will vibrate more strongly and cause further damage.

Operating tools with the proper technique is also vital. Companies should invest in training to ensure that workers are using tools correctly for their own safety.

Only using vibrating power tools for short periods, rotating use between workers and taking regular breaks to avoid long term use.

You can rent construction equipment from Talisman Plant and Tool Hire to ensure that the tools your workers are using are of the highest quality and in perfect condition, to minimise the chance of injuries related to faulty equipment. For further information on our construction equipment for hire, contact us today.