Prioritise & verify the effectiveness of controls

When addressing HAVS risks, where there are things you can do to reduce risks from vibration, that are reasonably practicable, they should be done no matter what the risk level. The HSE continuous reduction process is quite clear on how to assess and mitigate risks but there are many companies who still fail to either apply or maintain this requirement.


One solution to either reduce or remove the barriers to protect workers from HAVS risks is the Reactec Analytics Platform, a digital HAVs management system. Even though there is no legal requirement for continual monitoring and recording of vibration exposure the HSE agree that digital monitoring

...can be a useful tool for carrying out a risk assessment or for monitoring the preventive measures in place to ensure that they are effective.

The Reactec Analytics platform helps employers to address their HAVS risks to aid the design and management of risk reduction controls required by the HSE.

To help a new quick reference guide below on how the Reactec Analytics platform helps employers to comply with The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 to make what was once difficult or inaccurate, reasonable and practical.

Below is a flow chart of the HSE targeted improvement cycle

Accurate and targeted monitoring can help to more accurately risk assess and subsequently, help design and deploy a measure of controls. It also helps to validate effectiveness to support the continuous improvement cycle - to constantly reduce exposure. 


Accurate and targeted monitoring can help to more accurately risk assess and subsequently, help design and deploy a measure of controls. It also helps to validate effectiveness to support the continuous improvement cycle - to constantly reduce exposure.

Below are the key areas where the Reactec Analytics Platform can support HSE regulations.


Supports employee awareness, training and responsibility

The HAVWEAR  calculates and displays in real-time, HSE points and action value thresholds. These indicators not only maintain awareness but help to educate workers of their exposure risk in relation to tool use and to ensure responsibility is taken by all parties for their welfare. The displayed points encourages operators to become pro-active and engaged, actively looking for tool/job rotation or better planning of shifts etc.


Personalised to support workers on reduced points

The Reactec swipe cards can be personalised to a operators specific requirements ( example; exposure thresholds can be reduced due to medical issues).


More time to actively reduce exposure

With easy access to operator exposure levels records and tool usage, managers can utilise their time to proactively manage HAVs exposure risk far more efficiently than using a manual process.


Involves all duty holders

The Reactec Analytics reports are created automatically and easily distributed to all duty holders providing wider and easier access to information. This helps increase awareness throughout a company of the measure of controls and activities to revise them. The simple and concise reports help employees understand HAV risk and how to better manage them both reactively to daily occurrence and proactively to overall trends. They also demonstrate a company values the importance of worker welfare and team work.

Auto alerts immediately highlight if workers exceed their EAV/ELV thresholds for timely remedial action within hours.


More accurate assessment of exposure to deploy more effective controls

Through a clearer understanding of the source and levels of exposure; related working practises; tool utilisation and performance; the Reactec Analytics Platform will provide greater accuracy and insight to enable employers to design out exposure risk through work and tool planning.



List of HSE controls the Reactec Analytics reports support

1. Measure effectiveness of controls
Accurate and targeted monitoring is helpful to efficiently deploy and validate the effectiveness of controls to effect on-going reduction of risk. Check regularly that the programme of controls you have introduced is being carried out by your managers and employees.

Example: Use the reports to see if the levels of exposure from tools or HSE thresholds breaches are reducing over time.

2. Work schedules
View the time employees are exposed to vibration and the related HSE exposure points and thresholds. Understand tool use by operators to help plan work to avoid individuals being exposed to vibration for long, continuous periods.

Where tools require continual or frequent use, introduce employee rotas to limit exposure times (you should avoid employees being exposed for periods which are long enough to put them in the high risk group.

Example: Organise employees to work in teams where they switch tasks within the team to avoid individuals having unnecessarily high exposure to vibration.

3. Alternative work methods
From measuring exposure risk as part of an assessment use the reports to more accurately identify areas of risk and where to look for alternative work methods which eliminate or reduce exposure to vibration. Your trade association, other industry contacts, equipment suppliers and trade journals may help you identify good practice in your industry. Mechanise or automate the work.

Example: Use a breaker attachment on an excavating machine to break concrete rather than using a hand-held breaker. See for further examples.

4. Equipment selection
These reports help select or allocate equipment for tasks that can do the work efficiently. Details of tools used and by which operators during a selected time period. View and compare tool vibration magnitudes of tools used to help select the lowest vibration tools that are suitable and can do the work efficiently.

Equipment that is unsuitable, too small or not powerful enough is likely to take much longer to complete the task and expose employees to vibration for longer than is necessary. Limit the use of high-vibration tools wherever possible.

Example: To cut large holes in brickwork, use a diamond-tipped hole-cutting drill bit with a rotary action rather than a tungsten-tipped hole bit which requires rotary and hammer action.

5. Maintenance & purchasing policy for replacing old plant
View which make and model of tools contribute the most in terms of vibration exposure points and how long tools have been used. This can help maintenance scheduling, plan replacements and identify poor tool use. Work equipment is likely to be replaced over time as it becomes worn out, and it is important to choose replacements, so far as is reasonably practicable, which are suitable for the work, efficient and of lower vibration.

Examples: If a breaker has vibration-isolating handles, check how the machine must be operated to ensure the reduced vibration levels are achieved in use and ensure your operators have the necessary training. .

Check and sharpen chainsaw teeth regularly (following the manufacturer’s recommendations) to maintain the chainsaw's efficiency and to reduce the time it takes to complete the work.

Control measures management service
6. Supporting a company’s continual risk reduction plan. 
This Control Measures management service is part of the Analytics Platform where managers can add intervention notes as well as log and track HAV control measures against targets. The Control measures management service provides greater analysis of risk reduction activities and review of company set objectives against actual exposure risk. Read more
Prioritise & verify the effectiveness of controls


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Stirling Council

“Daily monitoring has provided robust exposure data to support the defence of employee litigation of HAVS exposure on recent claims where claimant payments have been considerably reduced”.