HAVS

HAVS (hand-arm vibration syndrome) assessments are used to determine if employees have physical health symptoms secondary to working with hand-held vibrating tools or hand-fed vibration equipment.

Where regular assessments are not completed there is a risk of damage to the nerves and circulation which can progress to become permanent and debilitating – thereby increasing employer liability, litigation costs and business insurance premiums.

Tier 1 is a short questionnaire (an example of which can be downloaded from HSE’s vibration website (initial screening questionnaire) used as the first check for people moving into jobs involving exposure to vibration. The replies to the questionnaire will indicate whether they need to be referred to Tier 3 for a HAVS health assessment.

Tier 2 is a short questionnaire (an example of which can be downloaded from HSE’s vibration website (annual screening questionnaire) that you can issue once a year 3 to employees exposed to vibration risks to check whether they need to be referred to Tier 3 for a HAVS health assessment.

Tier 3 involves a HAVS health assessment by a qualified person (eg an occupational health nurse). If the assessment shows that the employee has HAVS, the employee Tier 4 will apply.

Tier 4 involves a formal diagnosis and is carried out by a doctor qualified in occupational health. The doctor will advise you on the employee’s fitness for work.

Visit the HSE website for further details.

All of HAVS testing is completed by fully qualified clinical staff who have successfully completed approved HAVS training courses.

For more information contact us on 01782 574200 /admin@hobsonhealth.co.uk

HAVS 2016

Why is it needed?

• To monitor employees’ health where they are
exposed to vibration which is a known risk to
health.
• To comply with The Control of Vibration at Work
Regulations 2005.
• Where regular HAVS assessments are not
completed and relevant OH advice taken, the
circulation, muscle and/or nerve damage to
hands and fingers can progress to become
permanent and debilitating, thereby increasing
employer liability, litigation costs and business
insurance premiums

Who needs it?

• All employees who are regularly exposed to
hand-arm vibration above the vibration daily
exposure action level of 2.5m/s2.
• Employees exposed to hand-arm vibration at a
lower level or on a less frequent basis but who
have certain pre-existing health conditions.
• Employees exposed to below daily vibration
exposure levels who already have a diagnosis
of HAVS which may make them more liable to
developing worsening symptoms more quickly

What is the process?

What is the process?
• New employees likely to work with vibration
tools will be asked to complete an initial
HAVS questionnaire which will indicate if
the applicant needs a face-to face-health
assessment prior to or at the beginning of new
employment.
• Where there are concerns about exposure
to vibration, this will be indicated to
management following initial assessment.
• Once employed, if exposure to vibration
continues, an annual HAVS questionnaire
should be completed and sent in a
confidential envelope to Hobson Health.
Where there is a report of symptoms, an
assessment with a qualified practitioner will
be recommended.
• The face to face assessment consists of a
45 minute appointment with a qualified
practitioner.
• After three years of questionnaires, even if no
issues are flagged, a face to face assessment
is required.
• Where there is a possible HAVS diagnosis, the
employee should then be assessed by the
OH Physician for confirmation.
• Employees may also be recommended for a
further standardized test at a regional testing
centre to aid diagnosis and confirm staging;
this is at an additional cost to employers and
at their discretion.
• At all stages, management will be provided
with an OH report indicating any HAVS
diagnosis, staging, fitness to continue
working with vibration tools, a health review
date and if the condition is reportable under
RIDDOR