Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)

Health Surveillance for Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)

Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) predominantly affects individuals who frequently use hand-held power tools or are involved in machining that requires holding materials in place. Extended exposure to vibration can cause significant damage to the hands, potentially leading to HAVS

HAVS Explained

Key symptoms to be aware of include impaired circulation leading to Vibration White Finger, reduced sense of touch, numbness, decreased manual dexterity, tingling, joint stiffness, and diminished grip strength. Implementing a thorough health surveillance strategy for HAVS is essential for the early identification and management of this condition, ensuring the health and safety of workers exposed to vibration risks.

Implementing a thorough health surveillance strategy for HAVS is essential for the early identification and management of this condition, ensuring the health and safety of workers exposed to vibration risks.

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Health Surveillance for Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome

HAVS Stages Explained:
 

Tier 2 HAVS:

  • Annual self-administered short questionnaire asking about certain symptoms
  • If agreed, can be non-confidential
  • Option to have a Responsible Person
    -Able to gain confidence and cooperation
    -Can explain how the screening system operates and describe symptoms
    -No qualifications and must not interpret symptoms
    -Some training from an occupational health nurse.

Tier 3 HAVS:

  • Does the employee have HAVS
  • How severe are the symptoms
    -Stage 1 on Stockholm Scale least severe
    -Stage 3 on Stockholm Scale most severe
  • Qualified person to conduct interview and examination
    -Occupational health nurse
 

Tier 4 HAVS:

  • Formal diagnosis
  • Fitness for work decision
    -Prevent loss of hand function
    -No cases to progress to Stage 3 on Stockholm Scales
    -Remove from exposure at late Stage 2
  • Responsibility of the doctor
  • Medical records are confidential (need consent to disclose which stage of disease)
Risk Assessments Safety Inspectors UK Ltd
Risk Assessments Safety Inspectors UK Ltd

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