The HSE are actively reviewing the way that companies are monitoring vibration levels in the workpla

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05 Jul 2013

The HSE are looking to see the following actions –
  1. All employees who are liable to receive vibration from their work activities must have initial Health Surveillance1 carried out, and this must be repeated every year so that a comparison can be made and an identification of any health issues can be made at an early stage. An Occupational Nurse or Doctor who holds the FOM certificate in vibration must carry out this surveillance that takes approximately 1 hour per person
  1. Employers have a duty to eliminate where possible activities that produce vibration, and where this is not possible must use equipment that has the lowest possible vibration emissions.
  1. Risk assessments for specific tools and equipment must indicate the vibration levels and the maximum duration that an employee can work with that tool in an 8-hour day.
  1. Where an operative has to use more than one piece of vibrating equipment in a day, then a calculation must be made by a competent person to indicate the maximum usage for each item. This must be carried out PRIOR to any work commencing and should involve the employee so that he understands the necessity to adhere to the trigger times. We recommend that you use the vibration calculator2 available on the HSE website and the points system as a way of monitoring daily exposure where an operative has to use more than one power tool in one day.
  1. When any employee has reached the maximum permitted vibration exposure for one day, he must not be allowed to carry out any further activity that involves vibration during that day.
  1. Records must be maintained for each employee showing the levels of vibration received
  1. Employees must be adequately supervised to ensure that the trigger times of the machines do not exceed those calculated and that the employee does actually cease work
Please do not hesitate to call us if we can be of further assistance; we will be arranging a seminar in the very near future to advise on practical ways of complying with these requirements.
  • Fee for Intervention (FFI) was introduced in October 2012 by the HSE as a means of recovering costs from Employers who fail to comply with the statutory provisions made under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
Currently the hourly rate is charged at £124.00 per hour for both site time and administration time in dealing with the breach.
1Local Occupational Health specialists can carry out the health surveillance in  your company offices; rates vary between £400 – 900 per day for up to 8 assessments per day, depending upon the type of assessment required.