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2020 / 2021 Edition

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New CD-ROM to help manage risks from HAV

Earlier this year the Health and Safety Executive launched a new electronic product designed to manage the risks from hand-arm vibration (HAV) arising from the use of hand-held power tools. Complementing existing published material, the interactive multimedia CD-ROM, 'The Successful Management of Hand-Arm Vibration', will provide mangers and safety specialists with additional help in understanding the subject.

Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome is the name given to a group of diseases, of which the most widely known is vibration white finger (VWF). Recent research estimates that about 1.2 million people in Britain are exposed to HAV above the HSE's recommended action level, and that around 300,000 have symptoms of VWF, suggesting that vibration problems are more widespread than previously thought.

Containing a wealth of useful information and advice which will serve as both a training aid and a reference source, the easy-to-navigate CD-ROM uses text, photographs, video clips, sound and animations to bring the subject to life. It will help managers to meet their duties under existing health and safety law, and assist in compliance with new laws on vibration currently under discussion within the European Community. Although the HSE's recommended action level of 2.8m/s2 is not currently covered by specific legislation, negotiations in Europe may lead to legally binding action levels in future.

Dr Chris Nelson, noise and vibration specialist with the HSE's Technology Division, said: 'The successful management of HAV and the diseases associated with it represent a considerable occupational health challenge. Our new CD-ROM meshes with existing HSE guidance and provides an accessible information and guidance tool. I would urge everyone to make full use of it.'

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