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There is no legal requirement for continual monitoring and recording of vibration exposure. To do so is probably not a good use of your or your employees’ time, unless there are very specific circumstances. 

Just because your workers’ exposure is below the Limit, it doesn’t mean you have complied with the law, or done enough to protect workers’ health. A fundamental requirement under the regulations is that exposure is reduced to ‘as low as reasonably practicable’. If your workers’ exposure is regularly reaching the Exposure Limit Value, then you should be looking at doing the work in a different way. Restricting exposure to just below the Exposure Limit Value will still result in many workers developing hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). 

If there are particular workers who, following medical advice, have restrictions placed on their vibration exposure, then it would be sensible to have a system in place to make sure that that restricted level was not being exceeded, although this does not have to be through on-going monitoring. Another example might be for emergency work involving vibration exposure. 

Your insurance company should be able to tell you why it expects you to make and keep these records. As noted above, there is no legal requirement on continual monitoring, and HSE does not advise it on a routine basis. Your insurance company will rightly be concerned about its liability should your workers develop ill-health; you can identify your steps taken to minimise risks and prevent ill health by means of your risk assessment and evidence of the practical actions you are taking. 

Hand-arm vibration measurements should be made with the transducer firmly attached to the vibrating surface. Hand-held mounts are not generally recommended, but may be used with care such that you ensure there is good and continuous contact with the vibrating surface. Any measurement away from the palm of the hand or where the measurement position is on the back of the hand, fingers or wrist is unlikely to provide reliable measurement. There is currently no wrist or glove mounted device which measures vibration suitable for use in a vibration risk assessment. If a hand-arm vibration measurement system is to be used then it should measure according to the requirements of BS EN ISO 5349-1: 2001. This standard specifies that vibration measurements shall be made on the vibrating surface at the point where the vibration enters the hand (or hands). In addition to the measurement methodology standard any equipment used to measure hand-arm vibration magnitudes should comply with BS EN ISO 8041:2005. It is important that measurements are not carried out in isolation. You should be confident that the measurements you obtain are reasonable for the machines or tools being used. Verification of results by comparison with data from other sources is strongly recommended.

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