The Law & HAVS/Hand-arm Vibration

The law on HAVS/Hand-arm vibration requires employers to control vibration exposure in the workplace. This is an important distinction because it means employers who do not ensure safe standards for their workers could be open to possible litigation. HAVSense has been designed to ensure that both operators and employers are protected from the health and legal risks of vibration exposure.


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has categorised vibration exposure at two levels; Exposure Action Value and Exposure Limit Value. Any worker exposed to vibration at or above the action value requires a large range of risk mitigating actions to prevent health damage. The exposure limit value is a cut off point, any worker that is exposed to this level of vibration or above should cease exposure immediately and immediate action should be taken to reduce exposure to safe levels in the future.

 HAVS Law Graph

 Graph showing the ELV and EVA values for different vibration magnitudes. Note: This graph should not be used to estimate vibration exposure, please contact for advice on estimating your exposure

The daily Exposure Action Value is 2.5m/sassuming an 8-hour working day. The daily Exposure Limit Value is just 5m/sassuming an 8-hour day.  Of course as an employer or operator these values are likely to be difficult to relate to a real working day. That is why HAVSense handles all calculations internally, with no need for calibration to specific tools or working out the HSE measure of vibration exposure.

HSE Points

The standards EN ISO 5349 and EN ISO 8041 define the limit value, known as A(8) m/s2, however, to make assessment and measurement more straightforward the dosage is converted to ‘HSE points’. These points have some significant advantages, most notably that they can be added together, so if you receive twice as much vibration as a fellow operator you will receive twice as many points. The action level vibration dosage is 100 HSE points and the limit value is 400 for an 8-hour working day. The HAVSense system automatically converts all measurement into HSE points making assessment and monitoring simple.

ISO 5349:2001

Mechanical vibration — Measurement and evaluation of human exposure to hand-transmitted vibrations, ISO 5349, is of great importance to employers, as it requires them to monitor vibration dosage received by their employees. Combined with ISO 8041 this forms the basis of HAV monitoring and the need for a system that is able to record accurately the vibration operators are exposed to.

In effect, this standard defines what you, as an employer, has to do.

ISO 8041:2005

Human response to vibration — Measuring instrumentation, ISO 8041, is a piece of legislation that defines parameters that equipment must adhere to when measuring vibration. It includes requirements for pattern evaluation, periodic verification and in-situ checks, and the specification of vibration calibrators for in-situ checks. The entire HAVSense system has been designed to comply with and exceed the requirements of ISO 8041. Our dosimeters use three axial sensors to monitor vibration, our field check unit allows for in-situ checks and our firmware and software ensures recording and evaluation of results are handled automatically.

In effect, this standard defines what we, as an equipment supplier, must do.

Legal Requirements

The control of vibration at work regulations were set out in 2005 and require employers to:

  •  Assess Vibration Risk

  • Assess which employees will be exposed above the EVA (Exposure Action Level)

  • Introduce controls to eliminate risk or reduce to the lowest physically possible level

  • Provide regular health checks to those exposed above the EVA

  •  Assess which employees are likely to be exposed above the ELV (Exposure Limit Value)

  • Immediate action must be taken to reduce any exposure below the ELV

  • Provide information to employees on health risks and control measures

  • consult trade union or employees on control measures

  •  Keep a record of risk assessment and control actions

  • Maintain health records for employees who require health checks

  • Review and update risk management regularly

It is clear from the requirements above that to comply with the law employers must monitor the vibration their employees are exposed to. HAVSense is the only system that measures the vibration that operators receive and automatically converts the measure into HSE points. Because you don’t estimate or try and predict exposure, you can be sure you are compliant and that operators are safe.