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The ‘no win no fee’ risk to employers for hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) claims, and what the REAL costs may be

If you have employees using powered vibratory hand tools with poor protective controls in place, then they may be at risk of contracting hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). HAVS is a debilitating injury and maybe career ending if its symptoms are not addressed at an early stage. According to insurers, civil claims are probably the […]

The Human Cost of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) – How it affected this man’s life

A hard hitting video shows an example of how HAVS has severely affected this man’s life and very much disrupted his family’s daily routine, a routine that many would take for granted. See the following video: (Please excuse the quality, but the story is really relative to the subject)  This video appears to be […]

Hand Arm Vibration (HAV) measurements – are you performing them correctly?

If there’s something that is currently controversial in the world of HAV measurements, then it has to be concerned with the placement of the sensor or accelerometer when carrying out measurements. This controversy arises because some measurements are taken with the accelerometer either wrist or glove mounted, instead of being mounted firmly and directly on […]

Cold weather and Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)

As winter approaches, employers should look to provide staff protection against the onset of the cold weather when using power tools implicated in HAVS, either outdoors or indoors in inadequately heated areas. HAVS is a debilitating illness caused by prolonged use of hand held and hand guided power tools, and it consists of a number […]

£2.5 million worth of HAVS fines imposed upon businesses over the last few years

Repeated exposure to vibration from operating power tools can lead to a condition known as hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). HAVS is a collective term given to debilitating disorders of the blood vessels, joints, and connective tissues of the hand and lower arm, and it is irreversible.  It’s very unfortunate that businesses over the last […]

HAVS prosecutions: The impact of the Sentencing Council Guidelines

By now all those concerned with health and safety in their businesses should be aware of the Sentencing Council guidelines to Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food and Safety and Hygiene Offences. These guidelines were introduced in early 2016 and a noticeable outcome has been the draconian level of fines imposed upon businesses […]

An alternative approach for predicting the hand arm vibration (HAV) daily exposure

If powered tools are extensively used in your organisation and you think employees are potentially at risk of injury to their fingers, hands and arms, known as HAVS, then you are obliged to carry out a HAV risk assessment. This exercise will require you to get a good estimate of the operative’s daily exposure known […]

Avoid Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) – Replace a hazardous process with a non-hazardous one

Here is a great video which shows how advancement in modern technology has negated the need for chainsaw use when logging/felling, and demonstrates the replacement of a hazardous hand arm vibration process with a non-hazardous one. See the following video: It would set a fine example for the business to demonstrate to their staff a […]

Manufacturers’ vibration emission data for tools and equipment – Be cautious of using it for Hand Arm Vibration (HAV) risk assessments!

It’s likely that the widespread publicity about six figure fines for health & safety breaches has provoked employers to carry out a HAV risk assessment. Caution should, however, be exercised when using manufacturers’ declared vibration values of tools or equipment for determining the Daily Exposure A(8). It is important to understand how this data originates […]

Hearing protection – Do not remove it, even briefly, in high noise environments!

So, you have predicted that the hearing protection worn by staff in your workplace provides the correct amount of attenuation, but what happens if these devices are removed even for a short period of time whilst in a high noise environment? How does it impact the hearing protector’s effective attenuation? If a hearing protector is not […]

Headsets and earphones – how is noise exposure measured from such devices?

It may not be obvious to many, but employees who regularly use headsets and earphones in workplace environments like command and control rooms, call centres, trading floors, television broadcasting studios, and offices, may be at risk of developing hearing damage from these devices. This would also apply to employees working at home wearing headsets and […]

How to predict the contribution to the daily noise exposure of potentially harmful high noise events in your workplace

We explain a strategy to adopt when measuring loud event type noises, and how to use the results to predict the contribution to your employees’ daily personal noise exposure.  A convenient table to use as a tool for the prediction is included There might be loud, potentially harmful noises that exist in your workplace which […]

Do businesses REALLY have employees’ interests at heart when it comes to Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome?

Over the last few months, concerned workers have been contacting Essel about Hand Arm Vibration syndrome (HAVS) after downloading informative content posted on our website. A common thread amongst these calls was a description of symptoms consistent with the early stages of HAVS injuries from the regular use of powered tools. However, a disturbing trend emerged […]

Ototoxicants – what are they and how may they worsen hearing loss in the workplace?

It’s well known that hearing damage may be caused by exposure to loud noise, and that the degree of damage is more severe the longer the period of exposure is to noise. What may not be common knowledge is that there is strong evidence that some chemicals (known as ototoxicants) including medicinal drugs could cause […]

The HML of a hearing protector – using it to predict attenuated noise levels

A previous blog explained how the SNR (Single Number Rating) figure of a CE approved hearing protector was used to predict the amount of hearing protection provided. It also suggested exercising caution using the SNR for the prediction if the offending noise was excessive in high or low frequencies. Only one value, the equivalent continuous […]

How to minimise the risks of Hand Arm Vibration exposure through ‘job rotation’

The ill effects of hand arm vibration depend upon the vibration magnitude of the tool and the user’s duration of exposure, and both these factors contribute to the Daily Vibration Exposure, A(8). From a control point of view the most effective method of reducing A(8) and the risk of contracting HAVS (Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome), […]

The Only Effective Hearing Protector is One That is Worn

In a couple of blogs posted not long ago, overprotection(1) and the need for situational awareness(2) were given as possible reasons why staff consistently failed to wear their hearing protection in high noise environments. There may be other valid reasons for this and comfort, or rather the lack of it may be one of them. […]

Staff not always wearing hearing protectors? Sound restoration hearing protection may be a solution

It is commonplace in noisy workplaces to see that earmuffs provided by employers are either being improperly worn or not worn at all.  The frequent complaint (from staff) is that the ear protectors are overprotective in areas that are not continuously noisy, and that this results in poor situational awareness.  Situational awareness is critical for […]

Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) – the effects on businesses

Nowadays there is increased awareness of HAVS in industry, but despite this, some businesses still have lack of a meaningful strategy in place to deal with this potential health problem. The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations (2005) places legal duties on employers to protect staff at risk from HAVS. HAVS is a debilitating and […]

The SNR – what does it mean, and how do you use this figure to determine the effectiveness of a hearing protector?

Printed on the packaging of a CE approved hearing protector, you may have seen a quantity known as the Single Number Rating (SNR) denoted in decibels and wondered “what is it, and how is it of any use”? The SNR is a single attenuation value which is quite often sufficient enough and can be manipulated […]

How hearing protector overprotection could be hazardous in your workplace

You have a situation where you believe employees are exposed to high noise levels, and without carrying out a proper noise risk assessment (if you do carry one out), to be extra cautious you go in overkill mode and issue staff with hearing protectors that provide a higher than necessary level of attenuation. Job done, […]

The Assumed Protection Value of a hearing protector

The Assumed Protection Value (APV) of a hearing protector – what is it? How is it derived, and how does it relate to the ‘real world’? You may have seen the APV printed on the packaging of hearing protectors and probably thought “what does this actually mean?” The APV data is typically represented as shown […]

HAV a look at these HSE fines

The above are just some examples of huge fines (excluding costs) imposed on businesses for failing to protect workers from over exposure to vibration emissions through extended use of power tools. This resulted in staff developing Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS). In many cases, there was evidence of the symptoms of HAVS being ignored and […]

New Noise & Vibration Consultancy Launches

Despite more than a decade of legislation, millions of workers in the UK according to the HSE, are still being exposed to high noise levels and a similar number to vibration, which can lead to noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) and hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) respectively. Recognising this, Essel Acoustics is a newly founded specialist […]

Hello from Essel Acoustics

Welcome to Essel Acoustics. This is our first blog post. In future, any news relating to the business will be posted in this format under the “News” page found in our navigation.