Traditional Approaches to HAV/Hand-arm Vibration monitoring
ISO 5349 outlines the method by which traditional approaches attempt HAV/Hand-arm Vibration monitoring. These methods work by measuring the vibration produced by tools in a laboratory setting, using a triaxial accelerometer attached to the handle. Once an average measurement is obtained, operators can time their use of the tool and estimate their amount of exposure. There are various options on the market for employers wishing to use this approach, however, it is important to realise the severe limitations of estimating exposure in this way.
Firstly, tools and equipment do not produce consistent levels of vibration. The amount of vibration produced by a tool varies wildly depending on:
The material being used
The way it is held
The power supplied
The Tool’s Age
Wear & Tear
Secondly, the actual vibration dosage received by the operator can also vary depending on a wide range of factors including:
Wearing or not wearing gloves
Where the equipment is held
How tightly the tool is held
Whether the tool or material is held
The stance of the operator
All of the above factors can impact heavily the vibration dosage received by an operator. Moreover, these issues come before it is considered whether the initial lab measurement is correct and if the operator remembers to change his timing when using different equipment. Fundamentally this traditional approach is difficult to manage, subject to gross error and does not protect the operator or employer by measuring the vibration dosage an individual receives.
The HAVSense Approach
The HAVSense system follows the standards required by ISO 5349, by using a triaxial system of sensors to measure vibration produced by a tool to achieve HAV/Hand-arm Vibration monitoring. Where the system is superior to traditional approaches is in its ability to measure the exact vibration dosage received by an individual, instead of estimating from inappropriate data. Dosimeters are the unique component, they sit comfortably attached to the hand inside or on top of a glove, and measure any vibration that the hand receives during a shift. This is a measurement of actual vibration. No estimating, timing or use of theoretical calculations, just ‘real’ vibration dosage. This means that all the variable ‘unknowns’ listed above become irrelevant, and operators can be sure they are being safely monitored and employers can be sure they are compliant with the law.
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