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Mon May 17 2021

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Drillers get HAVS reminder

18 Jul 17 The British Drilling Association (BDA) has issued its members a reminder of the dangers of hand-arm vibration syndrome presented by power tools as it fears there may be some complacency on the topic.

Hand-arm vibration syndrome can be seriously debilitating
Hand-arm vibration syndrome can be seriously debilitating

The BDA is urging the drilling sector to undertake written risk assessments related to rig operation, and specifically the use of vibrating hand tools. Additionally, the BDA suggests that operation of vibrating machinery and tools be monitored closely and that detailed records of exposure are maintained on file.

Exposure in the drilling sector will most likely be linked to use of hand-held hydraulic and electric breakers used to get through hardstanding, together with grinding and cutting equipment. Every piece of machinery is rated by manufacturers and suppliers so that daily allowable use can be determined.

Last week an engineering firm from Sandbach was fined £120,000 for ignoring hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS).

BDA vice chair Martyn Brocklesby said: “Hand-arm vibration syndrome, caused by exposure to vibration in the workplace, is extremely serious resulting in permanent injury, yet it is also preventable. The BDA is reminding its members and non-members of the on-going need to address this issue and to ensure the correct procedures, monitoring and long-term recording systems are in place to minimise risk.”

He added: “Alternatives are available to using hydraulic or electric breakers, such as concrete coring or the use of excavator-mounted equipment, and we urge the drilling sector to consider their use where practical and feasible. Reducing exposure to vibrating equipment will reduce the number of injuries relating to their use and financially, will decrease the potential for injury claims in the future.”

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