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 10 years old (originating from New Zealand) where perhaps there was less awareness to HAVS at the time. Thankfully, today we are more aware of this illness but HAVS cases do occur and the penalties appear to be even more severe (nearly £0.5 million in a recent prosecution).

Cast aside, for just a moment, the fear of prosecution and stinging fines. Ask yourself this question: Is it morally acceptable for staff to go home in a less healthier state than when they turned up for work?

If your employees are regularly using power tools (eg. angle grinders, impact wrenches and hedge trimmers) for prolonged periods, then they may be at risk from developing HAVS.

So what should you look to do next?

If you have had a risk assessment carried out (by someone competent), it should have recommended controls to implement for offering protection against HAVS. Do ensure that the recommendations have been implemented.

A free guide to conducting a hand arm vibration (HAV) risk assessment is available for download. It explains, amongst other things, when you should carry one out, and what constitutes a competent risk assessment. Click here to receive it.