Hand arm vibration measurements and estimates

PPE - November 2, 2012 - 0 comments

Vibration is measured in metres per seconds (m/s²) the larger the value the higher the vibration.

Typical values range from 15 m/s² for road breakers to 1 m/s²for cordless drills.

The longer the user is exposed to vibration the higher the risks. The “Health and Safety Executive” have identified a threshold value of 2.5 m/s² averaged over an eight hour day as the maximum acceptable without preventative measures and health surveillance.

The table gives values of vibration and the length of exposure which would give a daily total exposure equivalent to 2.8 m/s² for 8 hours.


maximum EXPOSURE

length of time


16 hours


7 hours 10 minutes


4 hours


2 hours 30 minutes


40 minutes


17 minutes


10 minutes


6 minutes

The estimated vibration levels used to distinguish high, medium and low risk items are: –

Risk rating

vibration m/s²


High 5.6 m/s² 2 hour or less
Medium 2.8 to 5.8 m/s² Between 2 and 8 hours
Low 2.8 m/s² or less 8 hours of more

Information by kind permission of Grove Services (UK) Ltd

About Grove Services

Grove Services (UK) Limited are an independent service company providing occupational health and safety services.

Operated and staffed with Chartered Safety & Health Practitioners, Grove Services offer various health and safety services; whether you are looking for advice, guidance and information for compliance or require safety training specific to your business needs. We help businesses across the UK with all aspects of occupational health and safety – from audits, spot checks and full inspections through to identification of hazards, reporting of incidents and help with the selection of protective equipment.

Grove Services archive of useful occupational health and safety templates, manuals, etc for you to download.

Hand Arm Vibration (HAVS)


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