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Vibration data is vital


I note that responsibility for hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) is now to go back along the supply chain to clients and designers (NCE last week).

However, there seems to be a curious omission in responsibility when recent research shows that claims on vibration magnitude published by manufacturers are wildly optimistic.

The only guidance offered by the HSE seems to be a shrug of the shoulders and, '. . . it may be safer to double this figure [manufacturer's data] before using it for estimating daily exposures.' Surely the manufacturers of such potentially health damaging equipment are guilty of a breach of the Sale of Goods Act as a minimum and much more serious breaches of numerous articles of the various health and safety regulations at worst?

In order for all parties to act responsibly, the starting point must surely be reliable information. The HSE should be more proactive on this front to get accurate information into the market place. In fact, to give some real confidence, data from manufacturers should be based on well used (but properly maintained) items and not those straight off the factory floor.

David Close (M), principal engineer, Jacobs Babtie, Eden Office Park, 61 Macrae Road, Ham Green, Bristol, BS20 0DD

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