HAVSPRO, a new system for the accurate, real-time measurement and monitoring of workplace vibration, has successfully provided Dover District Council with a complete solution to the provision of accurate, reliable measurement and monitoring of exposure to Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) and Whole-Body Vibration (WBV), helping them not only meet, but exceed Health & Safety standards.
Dover District Council has always made the safety of its workers a priority, especially in managing the risk of Hand Arm Vibration levels. For some time, Darran Solley, Parks & Open Spaces Manager, had sought a complete system that delivered real-time, accurate measurement that could be used in making reliable assessments.
The Council’s Parks & Open Spaces department extensively uses a range of tools and equipment, including mowers (both hand and ride on), leaf blowers, strimmers, chain saws and other horticultural equipment, and had identified that, in order to protect the workforce effectively, it required greater clarity of the actual vibration levels being emitted by these devices.
After numerous attempts to find a complete solution, Solley’s initial discussions with HAVSPRO quickly established that their system was ideal; “We have had experience with other systems in this field and HAVSPRO absolutely meets our needs.”
The accurate vibration recordings provided for both Hand Arm and Whole-Body Vibration, from sensors firmly fixed to actual vibrating surfaces, combined with the ability to create both HSE limits and bespoke Exposure Action Value (EAV) and ELV Exposure Limit Value (ELV) limits for individuals was the perfect fit.
In addition, live email and/or text alerts providing accurate, real-time warnings when these limits are reached or breached gave the Council comprehensive information required to proactively protect their workforce.
Solley adds; “The HAVSPRO system enables us to easily monitor operator exposure to vibration on a daily, tool by tool basis and better places us to introduce new control measures to reduce exposure of our staff.”
“We have found the HAVSPRO system not only assists us in reviewing performance but can provide us with information on specific pieces of equipment, and the actual vibration being produced by different equipment which, is not always as the manufacturer has specified. This informs us on how we can rotate tool usage, or whether a piece of equipment is defective and producing excessive vibration which, again, impacts on how we complete tasks.”
The reports are an important quick reference to ensure Council staff are operating within the guidelines and parameters set by both the authority and the HSE. The report summaries have also effectively supported its annual staff HAVS monitoring surveys and provide useful data to their medical provider undertaking the survey assessments. The reporting system proactively alerts the Council when there is a medical or occupational health review due making managing the wellbeing of staff an easy part of routine activities.
This easy-to-access data, which can be viewed on mobiles, tablets, or laptops, has enabled the Council to present evidence-based business cases when procuring new equipment that reduces the risk of exposure for their workers.
Solley is delighted with the new HAVSPRO contribution; “It is a great system that supports managers and employers to protect their staff from vibration over-exposure and has helped support business cases to procure new equipment that either reduces or removes exposure for staff. The operatives are very supportive, too. HAVSPRO sensors are seen as an additional piece of PPE that is there to protect both the staff and the authority.
Russ Langthorne, HAVSPRO’s Managing Director, foresees many Local Authorities benefiting from a system that provides a stronger, more accurate assessment of the risks to staff of over exposure to vibration, either hand arm or whole body; “Dover District Council have shown commendable forward thinking in this respect, recognising the huge benefits to both their workforce and the Council. We look forward to working with other organisations in managing the risk of vibration exposure and protecting their staff as rigorously as possible.”
For more information, visit the HAVSPRO website.