|Eliminating Vibration White Finger
|During the extraction process of dimension stone, the use of powered hand tools had resulted in cases of vibration white finger (VWF). The measures to counter this problem began in 2002 and, following several years of research, the target to eliminate VWF was achieved.
The studies carried out in conjunction with HSE and the Mines Inspectorate concluded that the existing proprietory powered hand tools marketed in the UK did not comply with the HSE guidance on safe vibration levels and that a more radical solution to the problem was needed.
The main thrust of the development programme was aimed at eliminating the use of hand held power tools for “breaking out” and “trimming” of block stones – which is where most of the vibration exposure occurs.
Today, the activities associated with extraction of dimension stone at Bath Mines are completely mechanised with no employee being at the risk of exposure to VWF.