Hand Arm and Whole Body Vibration Surveys

Hand-arm vibration (HAV) and whole body vibration (WBV) are occupational hazards, resulting in prolonged exposure to vibration that can lead to various health issues for employees while using vibrating tools including hand held-or hand guided power tools and machines. 

HAV and WBV can be a significant health risk wherever powered hand tools are used for significant lengths of time.  This is especially so in foundries, construction and heavy fabrication including ship building.

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).

Understanding HAV and WBV

Hand-Arm Vibration (HAV):

  • HAV refers to the transmission of vibrations into the hands and arms through the use of vibrating tools and machinery.
  • Prolonged exposure to HAV can lead to hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), characterised by symptoms like tingling, numbness, and reduced dexterity.

Whole Body Vibration (WBV):

  • WBV occurs when the entire body is exposed to vibrations, such as when operating vehicles or heavy machinery.
  • Long-term exposure to WBV can cause musculoskeletal disorders, back pain, and other health issues.

How we can help

RPS have highly trained Occupational Hygiene Consultants who can complete HAV and WBV surveys on site, the survey will involve:

  • Reviewing working practices and discussion with staff to see if there are any possible improvements that can be made
  • Measurement of hand vibration levels using a Bruel & Kjaer Type 4447 Human Vibration Analyser. Measurements will be conducted on hand-held tools such as, sanders, polishers, grinders, drills, bolt guns, ratchets and air chisels.
  • Collection of relevant site information including the type and performance of controls in place, the activities monitored, equipment usage and management control systems in place.

The results of the investigation will be used to assess whether existing control measures are adequate and will assist the client in complying with The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005. This information can be used to determine if employees will need to have health surveillance carried out for HAVS assessments.

Get in touch with our hygiene specialists

Your contact information:

* fields are mandatory

Meet our team


Matt Bates

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

Tracey Bailey

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

Get in touch

Your contact information:

All fields are mandatory *

Get in touch

Your contact information:

All fields are mandatory *