The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations require all employers to have health surveillance programmes in place where people are at risk. Health surveillance must be in place for employees who are exposed above the action value (2.5m/s A (8)) and for employees who are sensitive to vibration to minimise the risk of further damage.
Health surveillance for HAVS should be carried out by competent persons and who received training in HAVS assessments; K2A staff has completed the Faculty of Occupational Medicine HAVS course.
The health surveillance has been simplified to encompass a “tiered approach”:
Tier One: Initial or Baseline Assessment
This comprises of a HAVS questionnaire to be used for employees working with vibrating tools. If the resulting questionnaire indicates any symptoms of HAVS, this would require referral to Tier Three.
Tier Two: Annual (Screening) Questionnaire
In the absence of HAVS health issues being declared at Tier One, a HAVS questionnaire should be administered at twelve monthly intervals.
Tier Three: Assessment by a Qualified Person.
This involves a HAVS health assessment by a suitably qualified Occupational Health professional. A further questionnaire is completed by the employee at this stage which asks relevant questions regarding their medical history, social/leisure pursuits and family health issues. This is assessed and if the results indicate a likelihood of HAVS signs and symptoms, then a referral to an Occupational Health Physician, Tier Four, is recommended.
Tier Four: Formal Diagnosis
The employee will be seen and examined by an Occupational Health Physician. A formal diagnosis may be made at this stage, indicating the extent of the condition by “staging” under the Stockholm Workshop Scale of 0 to 3. It is at this stage, depending on the diagnosis and staging, that reporting under the RIDDOR 1995 regulations will be recommended. The reporting under RIDDOR is the responsibility of the Employer. A “Fitness for Work” recommendation will be made.
Tier Five: Use of Standardised Tests (optional)
The Occupational Health Physician may recommend that a referral for objective testing is made.
K2A Hand Arm Vibration Health Surveillance includes: