Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome

As we start getting back into our daily work routines and with winter now well upon us, the colder weather may bring dismay to anyone who struggles with Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), but what is HAVS and what can you do to help yourself and your colleagues who may be at risk?

Did you know nearly two million people are at risk from suffering from Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome?

What is HAVS

It's a disorder resulting from prolonged exposure to vibration, specifically to the hands and forearms while using vibrating tools, including hand-held or hand guided power tools and machines.

HAVS can be a significant health risk where powered hand tools are used for significant lengths of time - this is especially so in foundries, construction and heavy fabrication.

Symptoms include:

  • Tingling and numbness in the fingers
  • Not being able to feel things properly
  • Loss of strength in the hands
  • Fingers going white (blanching) and becoming red and painful on recovery (particularly in the cold and wet, and probably only in the tips at first)



Here are some top tips to help prevent HAVS in your workplace:

  • Make sure that equipment selected or allocated for tasks is suitable and can do the work efficiently.  Tasks that use equipment that is unsuitable, too small or not powerful enough, is likely to take much longer to complete, therefore exposing employees to vibration for longer than is necessary.
  • Where tools require continual or frequent use, introduce employee rotas to limit exposure times
  • Provide your employees with protective clothing when necessary to keep them warm and dry. This will encourage good blood circulation which should help protect them from developing vibration white finger

If you'd like more information on how RPS can help contact:

Ben Massey-26 V2.jpg

Ben Massey

Business Development - Occupational Health & Hygiene T: +44 (0) 1235 437 100 Email
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Milton Keynes | UK

Tracey Bailey

Business Development Manager - Occupational Hygiene T: +44 1235 437 100 Email
Milton Keynes | UK

Matt Bates

Business Development Director - Occupational Hygiene T: +44 (0) 1235 437 100 Email
Milton Keynes | UK

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