Hands / Arm Vibration

What is hand-Arm Vibration (HAV)
Hand-arm vibration can be caused by the use of hand-held power tools and is the cause of significant ill health including painful and disabling disorders of the blood vessels, nerves, and joints. Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) is preventable, but once the damage is done it is permanent. Symptoms of HAVS affect nearly 2 million people in the UK.

The control of Vibration at Work regulations 2005 regulate the requirements of HAV, it is the duty of the employer to protect their employees against the danger of HAV. Any powered hand-held tool must be monitored for it vibration magnitude to determine if the tool produces dangerous vibration levels.

ESP’s qualified technician will carry out vibration monitoring on all hand-held powered equipment determining the vibration magnitude of each tool. Details will be attached to each unit identifying the levels and the time it takes to reach the Exposure Limit Value (ELV) by one person in a day. The noise level of the tools will also be monitored by a class 1 noise meter. A summary report will be issued detailing risk assessments and recommendations.

How long does it take?
Individual tools will be monitored using a vibration meter, each unit takes 20 minutes monitoring, this will be carried out during real-life tests. It is essential to monitor each tool during its normal work routine if the tool is meant for cutting wood/masonry or metal it would be required to be monitored whilst cutting the appropriate material to give a real-life condition.

How often do I need to carry out the tests?
In theory, you may only need to test your equipment once. If your tools are kept in good condition and well maintained the unit shouldn’t produce any different levels as time goes on. It is not recommended using the levels provided by the manufacturer as their test are carried out in “Laboratory conditions” and not in real life conditions

Further information can be found at


Hand – Arm Vibration, A guide for employees