Best Practice

LOCATION: Asphalt/Coating plant ARTICLE YEAR 2008
ACTIVITY: Occupational Health COMPANY: CEMEX UK
SUB ACTIVITY: Vibration COMPANY LOCATION: Nottingham Coated Stone, Nottinghamshire
BEST PRACTICE No: BP592 COMPANY TEL: 07702 240608
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United Kingdom
TITLE  
Management system to control hand arm vibration
ARTICLE
Following the discovery that two members of staff had developed Stage 1 hand arm vibration syndrome (HAV), it was decided that a review of current systems should be held. The review led to the development of a traffic light identification system, which highlights an operator’s exposure to vibration.

The system includes an information pack and guidance notes, an employee assessment questionnaire, risk assessments and safe systems of work. Although not new, it incorporates best practices already established in quarrying and other sectors.

Because the use of vibration inducing tools is low, it was decided that logs of operators exposure would be expressed in minutes and not the points based system that many sites have adopted. This decision was influenced by the operatives at locations where HAV had been identified who found the ‘minutes’ system easier to understand.

However shortly after implementation it became clear that employees were significantly underestimating the operational time that they had used the tool. For example, if a fitter was fabricating a guard and using a grinder to dress the steel and a drill to form the mounting holes and the task took 4-5 hours they would log 2-3 hours, splitting the operational time between the drill and the grinder.

Following a brainstorm session a simple "Trigger Time Data Logger" was developed. Either portable or wall mounted, the logger plugs it into the power socket and the tool plugs into the data logger. A timer registers when the trigger is activated and logs multiple uses of the tool. It provides a simple accurate management system and is easily adaptable to any location and to different tools

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