Hand-Arm Vibration FAQs & Resources

As a leading provider of Health & Safety eLearning, our experts are often asked about Hand-Arm Vibration. We've collected all of those questions and answered them for you below...

Hand-Arm Vibration FAQs

What is hand-arm vibration?

HAV occurs from working with vibrating hand-held tools or equipment. It affects your hands and arms. 

What is hand-arm vibration syndrome?

Hand-arm vibration was originally known as 'vibration white finger'. It is only caused by handheld equipment rather than whole body vibration. 

Hand-arm vibration syndrome causes damage to the blood vessels and nerves in the arms and hands. This can result in individual fingers going white when the hand is exposed to cold and 'pins and needles' can occur. Damage to nerves is permanent whereas damage to blood vessels can reverse to a certain extent when taken away from cold exposure. 

What are the vibration exposure limits?

Exposure action value (EAV) is the daily amount of vibration exposure. If vibration exposure is above 2.5 m/s² A(8), employers are required to take action to control exposure. The exposure limit value (ELV) is the maximum amount of vibration employees can be exposed to daily. The ELV for hand-arm vibration is a daily exposure of 5 m/s² A(8).

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel can take months to get better and can be caused by using vibrating tools. It is something that you can treat yourself and is the pressure on a nerve in your wrist which can cause tingling, pain or numbness in your hand/fingers. A wrist splint can be used to treat CTS and can release pressure on the nerve. 

What is the best way of dealing with vibration exposure?

The best way of dealing with vibration exposure would be to try and eliminate the vibration exposure altogether with a substitute. If it cannot be eliminated, then the equipment that helps reduce vibration can help significantly. 

Are anti-vibration gloves an effective way to reduce exposure to vibrations?

Anti-vibration gloves are not an effective measure against hand-arm vibration. No gloves provide full and effective protection from vibration from hand-held tools. 

Does HAVs have to be part of a risk assessment?

Yes. If there is a possibility that someone may come to harm through vibration in the workplace then it should be written down as part of the risk assessment employers conduct. 

FAQs regarding our Hand-Arm Vibration course

How long does this course take?

This course can be completed in just 20 minutes. 

What approvals does this course have?

This course is CPD Accredited and IOSH approved.

How long is my certificate valid for?

It is up to the training administrator of the employee as to when training needs to be refreshed. However, to stay up-to-date with legislation, we recommend that training should be renewed every year.

What devices can I get this course on?

Our courses can be completed on a range of devices, they’re compatible with Desktops, laptops, mobile phones, iPads and other tablets.

Documents and resources

  • Vibration Calculator

    A great resource to help you calculate your exposure to vibration.
    Simply fill in the vibration level and the time spent on up to 6 different tools or operations (in the white areas).
    The calculator will show you information about how long you can spend before reaching Exposure Action Value (EAV) and Exposure Limit Value (ELV).
    It will also calculate your daily exposure and total exposure points for all tools or operations you’ve input.

  • Vibration Exposure LOOK-UP Table

    This is a simple LOOK-UP table.
    Find the vibration level of the tool or process on the left-hand column and read along to see how long you can use the piece of equipment or continue the process before you reach Exposure Action Value and Exposure Limit Value.
    The table also shows you the number of Exposure Points per hour for each vibration level.
    The Exposure ACTION Value expressed as Exposure Points is 100 points. This is the point at which something must be done.
    The Exposure LIMIT Value expressed as Exposure Points is 400 points. This is the absolute maximum.