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Hot topics in the industry right now are "Dust" and "HAVS".

Here we will try and explain the ways you should be controlling the risks associated with both.

Dust:

Controlling dust at work has always been a keen topic of conversation depending on your activity. Dust by fact of it's minuscule size will get everywhere and long term exposure to such things will make you ill. The simple act of breathing in and out while drilling, cutting and or grinding through your working life means you will take in dust into your lungs. Over time this dust will build up and cause illnesses such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), Emphysema, Silicosis and in some cases Asthma.

Protecting yourself and your employees from this long term exposure is paramount due the seriousness of these illnesses associated with dust.

You will need to use PPE as an immediate barrier to prevent dust being taken into the body and the recommended mask for this is the FFP3 Dust Mask and Face Fit check. The masks themselves are not cost prohibitive and the Face Fit is quite good value too, so you have no excuse. Remembering to write and observe COSHH assessments for dust.

Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS):

HAVS is what Vibration White Finger is more commonly known as in the industry and will affect any one using powered hand tools for any length of time.

You will need to work out two things:

Vibration rating of the tool and the "Trigger Time" of those affected. Trigger time means how long a period per day the tool is actually drilling, cutting, grinding or strimming.

A handy guide for tools vibration rating is here: http://www.brandontoolhire.co.uk/themes/brandon/downloads/Brandon%20HAV%20PowerTools%20v2.pdf

When you have worked out the trigger time and you can use this: http://www.hse.gov.uk/vibration/hav/vibrationcalc.htm to calculated a HAVS reading and then write an appropriate risk assessment to cover off the risk.

Whether that is rotating duties or replacing equipment to reduce the Vibration Exposure.


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