Could deviation from static and declared vibration dosage assumptions in the real use by workers of power tools be preventing further progress on reducing HAVS in affected populations?

Conference paper - HAVS


The authors have analysed a large data set of records from the monitoring of operators exposed to Hand Arm Vibration over a 9-month period from September 2017 to May 2018, from within over 400 private and public organisations totalling over 246,500 days of monitored HAV exposure. The data set contained two differing assessments of the daily exposure to the individuals. Both assessment methods were based on the trigger time of tool use while one method used a static vibration dose chosen by the monitoring organisation to be suitable for a risk assessment and the second method used a real use vibration dose determined by a wearable sensor positioned on the wrist of the operator for the full monitored day.

The wearable sensor has been developed to calculate a transformed vibration dose which is equivalent to a vibration dose measurement made on a tool handle, by way of correcting algorithms. Independent research, (Graveling et al 2018), has been published on the validity of the wearable sensor in developing a vibration dose which would inform a suitable and sufficient risk assessment.

Analysis of the data set indicates that in general operators are exposed to a higher level of daily HAV exposure than is assessed using a static vibration dose. The variance in assessed HAV exposure by the two methods is at it’s greatest in the highest risk industries and with the highest vibration dose tools. The greatest variances appear to be with high vibration tools and the use of manufacturers declared vibration dosages.

The authors believe there is an opportunity to more intelligently develop HAV exposure control measures with a more detailed insight to the drivers of HAV exposure risk than that developed from generic HAV risk assessments based on assumed static vibration dosages.

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