Hand-arm vibration (HAVS)

Hand-arm vibration (HAV) can cause vibration white finger, a permanent and painful numbness and tingling in the hands and arms, as well as painful joints and muscle weakening. There is also evidence that it may cause carpel tunnel syndrome.

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Hand-held portable power tools such as grinders, sanders, impact wrenches, and air chisels are used extensively in MVR. These transmit vibration into the operator’s hands and arms.

There is a legal duty to manage the risk from HAVS under the Control of Vibration Regulations 2005. According to HSE, HAVS Vibration White Finger (VWF) is the most commonly prescribed disease under the Industrial Injuries Disability Benefit scheme for the last ten years, (although the number of new cases of VWF has fallen significantly over that period) and is one of the highest causes of RIDDOR reportable health conditions. Employers therefore have a duty to protect the health of their staff, as well as reduce their civil and criminal liability.


An initial assessment is completed by the employee, and reviewed by an Occupational Health professional before starting work with vibrating tools. This includes a questionnaire to identify potential symptoms related to HAVS.


An annual questionnaire for employees who remain exposed to vibrating tools. Personnel disclosing symptoms during Tier 1 or 2 reviews should then be subject to a further detailed assessment.

Key Benefits

  • Identifies the risk of hand-arm vibration syndrome
  • Provides recommendations for appropriate action
  • Helps you comply with the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations
  • Convenient and effective assessments carried out on-site