Is it necessary to measure vibration levels for hand held vibrating tools at a construction site?

In many cases a risk assessment for vibration at a construction site can be prepared without using equipment to measure the vibration levels. The assessment must be based on reliable information though and should include a realistic estimate of the employee’s exposure.

You may find it useful to observe work activities, measure the exposure time over part of the day and use this to estimate exposure during a full shift. If an employee is exposed to vibration from more than one tool or work process during a typical day, you will need to collect information about the likely vibration level(s) and exposure time for each source.

Information from manufacturers or suppliers about vibration levels produced by the equipment can be used to calculate the daily exposure unless there is reason to believe it is not valid, for example if the tool is being used in a way not specified by the manufacturer or supplier.

The quality of vibration data should be discussed with suppliers / manufacturers of equipment. Vibration data measured according to current standards should give a good indication of the likely exposure to vibration when the tool is in use, but manufacturers may also give additional information about residual risk, such as when the results of the standard vibration tests are known not to be very representative of real usage.