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Wake-up call on workplace vibration

New vibration-monitoring technology identifies ‘rogue’ tool and saves workers from potentially dangerous Hand-Arm Vibration exposure.

In late 2018, Network Rail carried out a review of their Hand-Arm Vibration risk controls. The firm already had robust processes in place, but was keen to develop best practice – so they issued operators with Curotec’s new Q2 personal vibration monitor. And what happened next was a revelation.

 

Like many employers, Network Rail had been using traditional risk assessments that relied on estimated vibration values. But with Q2 installed, managers were able to measure actual vibration levels in real time, and it quickly became clear that the standard estimated values weren’t always accurate – in some cases, massively undervaluing true vibration dose.

 

In the case of one particular tool (a hand-held angle grinder), the assumed vibration magnitude indicated a trigger time of 42 minutes to Exposure Action Value (EAV). But data from Q2’s continual measurement showed that EAV was reached in just 2 minutes 51 seconds!

 

This clearly demonstrates the shortcomings of traditional vibration risk assessments, and highlights the benefits of continual monitoring. Thanks to Q2’s real-time alerts, the operator stopped work before they were exposed to potentially dangerous vibration levels, and the rogue tool was quickly taken out of use.

 

Mike Jones, founder of Berkshire-based Curotec said, “Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome is an archaic industrial disease which has no place in the 21st century – and thanks to the Q2, the technology now exists to measure and manage vibration exposure in real time.”

 

With an estimated 2 million workers at risk of developing Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome, Q2 could help employers in all industries to protect their people from this serious and disabling condition.

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