Requirement to Test
Exposure to hand-transmitted vibration from powered work equipment can lead to serious and permanent injury. HAVS is a widespread recognised industrial disease affecting tens of thousands of workers. It is a disorder that affects the blood vessels, nerves, muscles, and joints, of the hand, wrist, and arm, also often referred to as Vibration white finger. Employers must provide health surveillance when employees are likely to be regularly exposed above the Exposure Action Value or are considered to be at risk for any other reason.
Testing for HAVS is quite a difficult process to enable a full diagnosis. Initially the screening can be done in House with your own competent person conducting a paper screen and referring on to us any concerns. This is referred to as TIER 1 testing and can be delivered by our staff if required. The screening should be then carried out annually with a follow up questionnaire to establish any changes, known as tier 2 assessment and again we can provide this service if required. If you or we identify any problems at tier 1 or 2 stage we then refer to our OHP Physician to conduct a more detailed test involving grip, dexterity and sensitivity and work towards a formal diagnosis.
The questionnaire should be completed by the employee and should only take a few minutes. For the tier 3 and tier 4 testing we allow a 20 minute appointment so that a full history can be taken and the additional tests carried out
Conducting the HAVS Screening enables employers to comply with the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005
As part of the test process the Health Practitioner will gather personal medical information which is kept confidential. All such records will be kept off site with the OH provider or if a suitably locked filing system is provided on site to which only the OH Provider has sole access then this enables us to keep records with the employer. An Employee may consent to records being viewed or kept by the employer or being disclosed to a third party.
A summary of the employee’s results along with the required fit to work sign off where applicable, will be made available along with details of any further referrals advised and any information to enable the management of any health or safety related matters or details of any further action the employer needs to take.