HAVS, Noise and battery powered tools – HSE research issued

Outsource Safety LtdSafety newsHAVS, Noise and battery powered tools – HSE research issued
April 19, 2023 Posted by Roger Hart

The Health and Safety Executive recently produced a short video after completing research on whether the presence of more and more battery-powered tools in the workplace has meant that overall exposure to noise and vibration (HAVS) is reduced due to these new tools being used.HAVS Noise exposure

A common sense ponder on this might well lead you to the conclusion that battery-powered tools would be lower in both noise and vibration (HAVS) as common sense would surely dictate that the power available to a battery versus a 110/240 volt powered tool or an air tool would be quite different. However, the advances in both battery and motor technology have meant that these battery-powered tools are surprisingly powerful, particularly in their most modern forms.

A short video here (HSE Video) gives the simple answer from HSE, some are indeed lower than their traditionally powered counterparts but some are above the levels seen for more traditional tools.  Add to this the weight of the battery power pack and you have a further aspect to consider with ergonomics, particularly for extended periods of use.

Our advice is to treat all tools as potential sources of HAVS exposure and remember, manufacturer’s data on vibration provide a useful comparative figure but will not reflect the true exposure of your staff.  USE resources such as the HSE’s own vibration data available here: https://www.hse.gov.uk/vibration/hav/source-vibration-magnitude-app3.pdf and the data from reputable data sources such as this database: https://www.thetooladvisor.com/

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for some help.  We have some innovative methods and some very useful equipment which can help you determine what your exposures are.  This isn’t an easy area in which to complete accurate assessments and gathering enough of the right data is key, contact us for further info or request a call back to speak to a consultant.

Please find some more information in the articles below from our blog:

Hand Arm Vibration: Competency for HAVS Health Surveillance

Hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) – are you really managing the risk?

£600,000 Fine for Property Developer over HAVS risk assessment