Machine vibration can take various forms. When people interact with equipment the vibration (osculation) can be transmitted to the user through the use of:
- Handheld power tools;
- Hand guided powered equipment;
- Ride-on equipment;
Prolonged and regular exposure to this type of vibration can have detrimental physical effects on the user’s health.
Physical Effects of Vibration Exposure
Vibration can cause a number of different physical effects:
- Hand Arm Vibration Symptom (HAVS) including Work Related Upper Limb Disorders, White Finger.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Repetitive Strain Injuries.
- Whole Body Vibration leading to musculoskeletal injuries to the back and spine.
Employers are required to assess the risk to their employees from equipment that produce vibrations. Where there is a danger to their health, employers need to take appropriate measures to reduce the risk to as low as reasonably practicable.
Where employees already show signs of vibration related conditions or are naturally predisposed to this type of condition, their exposure to vibratory tools should be kept as low as possible to prevent further injury.
Where employees are exposed to significant risks from vibratory tools, health surveillance may be required to chart the progress of any damage being caused in order that action can be taken to ensure that it is kept to a minimum.
The main requirements to manage vibration are:
- Completion of a suitable and sufficient risk assessment on vibration exposure to staff.
- To provide suitable information, instruction and training to staff who are involved in activities where vibration exposure could damage their health if not controlled.
- Providing personal protective equipment and sufficient training on how to wear, store, inspect and maintain their personal protective equipment.
- Undertaking health surveillance on all workers exposed to vibration at work.
- Monitoring levels of vibration exposure, to ensure that legal limits are not exceeded.
- Maintenance of all equipment that produces vibrations.
Questions to Consider
- Are jobs that involve the use of vibrating equipment rotated between staff to prevent over exposure?
- Are dosimeters used to monitor vibration exposure levels?
- Is vibration taken into consideration when purchasing new pieces of equipment?
- Are staff aware to report any health concerns in relation to vibration directly to their line manager?
- Are staff given necessary breaks to prevent over exposure?
- Does the personal protective equipment provided to staff have the necessary CE markings?
The above guidance provides an introduction on the main requirements needed to adequately manage this health and safety topic. If you require further guidance, risk assessments or template documentation on this subject please consult your relevant full guidance health and safety website (BIGGA, England Golf, Scottish Golf, Wales Golf). If you do not hold the log in details for this website, for your club, please speak to your golf club management team to identify who the account administrator is and request the details.