What is Hand-Arm Vibration?

What is Hand-Arm Vibration 

Each year, approximately 3,000 new claims for Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit are made in relation to vibration white finger and vibration-related carpal tunnel syndrome.

What is hand-arm vibration? Who could be affected? This article should provide the answers to any questions you may have related to hand-arm vibration.

What is Hand-Arm Vibration?

Hand-arm vibration is vibration which is transmitted into a worker’s hands and arms when using vibrating tools and machinery.

This can be experienced when using any of the following:

  • Hand-held power tools (such as grinders or hammer drills).
  • Hand-guided machinery (such as lawnmowers and plate compactors).
  • Hand-fed machines (such as pedestal grinders).


    Who is most at risk?

    People who work in certain industries are at particular risk from exposure to vibration. These include:

    • Construction and civil work.
    • Engineering.
    • Foresty.
    • Foundries.
    • Motor vehicle maintenance and repair.
    • Maintenance of parks, grounds etc.
    • Utilities (gas, water, telecommunications).

    Specific work tools that often expose workers to high levels of vibration include:

    • Chainsaws
    • Grinders
    • Impact drills
    • Pedestrian controlled equipment including mowers and floor polishers.
    • Powered hammers from chipping, demolition etc.
    • Hand-held saws for concrete, metal etc.

    Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome

    What are my legal duties in regards to hand-arm vibration?

    The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 places duties on employers to prevent or reduce the risks to workers who are exposed to vibration. These regulations outline measures that need to be in place to protect employees from health risks associated with exposure to vibration.

    Duties that employers must undertake include:

    • Assessing the risks from vibration to their employees.
    • Putting suitable control measures in place to prevent / reduce the risk from exposure to vibration.
    • Provide information and training to employees on health risks and actions being taken to control the risks.

    To find out more about the health effects associated with exposure to hand-arm vibration (including hand-arm vibration syndrome and carpal tunnel), and how to manage the risks why not undertake our online hand-arm vibration course? Click here to find out more about our course and to place an order.