Hand Arm Vibration (HAV) Testing

Exposure at work to excessive levels of vibration mightn’t cause obvious and immediate harm, however continued exposure can cause irreparable permanent damage. Unless properly measured and controlled, exposure to hand held vibrating tools can cause Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome. It is estimated that 300,000 working days are lost each year in the UK to Hand Arm Disability related absences. Fivesquared can provide risk assessment; measurement and analysis services related to workplace exposure to Hand Arm Vibration.

HAV Work Place Exposure

Fivesquared has substantial experience of measuring real life vibration exposure across a broad section of industries including Construction and Engineering and many more.

  • Measuring vibration on site in actual working conditions has proved to provide far more precise and realistic figures and test results, than those obtained by the manufacturer using laboratory fixed jig tests. Real life assessments are typically 1/3 higher than those supplied by the manufacturer.
  • On site vibration readings should always be carried out by trained, competent personnel, using calibrated specialist equipment to obtain readings from the grip surfaces of the tool.
  • Equipment which is inaccurately adjusted or poorly maintained will as a rule produce obscure readings which highlights the need to keep tools sharp and introduce comprehensive maintenance programs recommended by the manufacturer.
  • It is also wise to note that there is no generally effective PPE for Hand Arm Vibration, despite claims by some glove suppliers.

Fivesquared HAV Testing

Assists companies in all risk areas to develop effective policies and assessments to address Hand Arm Vibration risks. Advice on how to comply with current HSE guidelines and European Directives can be offered, we also make recommendations on how best to avoid future personal injury claims. Fivesquared can assess vehicles, plant and tools for vibration.

  • Vibration Management
  • Risk Assessments
  • Safe Systems of Work
  • Job Analysis
  • Policy Development
  • Training

Whole Body Vibration (WBV) Testing

Whole Body Vibration (WBV) occurs when a person’s body is supported on a vibrating surface. This is most likely to occur when sitting on the seat of a moving vehicle or other form of transport, or operating vibrating machinery. Standing whilst operating machinery designed for such an operator stance can also produce WBV in the operator. Prolonged exposure to WBV can affect the lower back, spine and possibly the neck and shoulders. Exposure at work to WBV mightn’t cause noticeable and obvious immediate harm, but continued exposure can cause irreparable permanent damage. Over five million working days are lost each year due to back pain caused or made worse through working in conditions where vibrations are present.
Where do you find WBV…

  • Power Shovels
  • Bulldozers
  • Helicopters
  • Agricultural Heavy Equipment
  • Buses
  • Two Motors
  • Cranes
  • Earth Moving Machinery
  • Trainings, including underground
  • Forklifts
  • Wheel Loaders
  • Caterpillars
  • Trucks

Here at Fivesquared we recommend to look for Excessive Whole Body Vibration Exposure where any commercial/industrial/construction/plant or mobile machinery vehicles are driven regularly.
We can help you prevent WBV by…

  • Assessing the risk of WBV to your employees.
  • Determining whether the daily exposure Action Value is exceeded.
  • Introducing a programme of simple control measures to eliminate or reduce exposure.

Fivesquared assists companies in all risk areas such as Grounds Maintenance, Construction, Building and materials industries to develop effective policies and assessments to address Whole Body Vibration risk. Advice on how to comply with current HSE guidelines and European Directives can be offered. We also make recommendations on how best to avoid future personal injury claims. Fivesquared can assess vehicles plant and mobile equipment. If you would like further information or require a free quotation for on site vehicle, plant or mobile machinery testing please contact us.

Noise Testing

Sounds and noises are a part of everyday life; however excessive exposure to high levels of noise can be somewhat a nuisance and lead to health problems. The noise at work regulations was introduced in 1990. They are aimed at protecting the hearing of employees and state exactly what s required from the employer/employee and machine suppliers. The potential danger can be controlled effectively if the noise levels area assessed and control measures put in place. Over 2 million workers within the UK are at risk from exposure to excessive noise . The dangers are clear in industries such as engineering, production, mining, and driving heavy vehicles. But noise is also a hazard for office workers and teachers, and in the service and entertainment industry.
New EU Standards…
Since 1989, UK noise regulation has been based on European standards. Under a 2003 European Union directive, these laws must be replaced by the start of 2006 with upgraded regulations. The leisure industry, which tried for exemption from the improved standards, will have until the end of 2007 to comply.
The New Directive…

  • Reduces action levels by 5 decibels, or 75 per cent.
  • Emphasizes that substitution and control come before protective equipment.
  • Introduces an exposure limit.

Many people are exposed to harmful levels of noise at work. Unless properly protected, they will suffer from noise-induced hearing loss. You the Employer needs to ensure…

    • You are complying with the Noise at Work Regulations 1989.
    • Your staff will not be exposed to harmful levels of noise.

To successfully protect your workforce form the effects of noise in the workplace it is vital that you as the employer implement noise management systems.
At Fivesquared we can…
carry out Noise assessments within the workplace and upon doing so implement a noise management system to reduce and control your risk of noise within the workplace. Essentially protecting you and your workforce from the affects off noise induced hearing loss.

PAT Testing

Since the Introduction of the Electricity at Work Regulation 1989 all electrical appliances should be tested and inspected on a regular basis to ensure that they meet with the IEE code of practice for in service inspection and testing of electrical equipment.
There are two main types of tests which will be carried out. Firstly a visual inspection will be carried out to ensure the appliance is not damaged and that both wire and plug are in good condition and show no signs of damage or burning. The tester will also check that the correct fuse is in use and that the plug is wired correctly. The second test will be automatically run by the tester. The type of test carried out will depend upon the type of appliance and will determine the tests the machine will run.
The various tests which may be performed are..

    • Load Test – A load test may be carried out to protect the tester from the hazards of a very low impedance being present between live and neutral, during the following ‘operation test’ requiring the tester to determine if it is safe to continue testing, if a particularly high current is detected.
      Please note that this test is not required by the Standards Authority.
    • Leakage Test – This tests for current being lost through leakage, as the difference in the currents flowing in the live and neutral conductors. The difference being the total leakage away from the appliance and is usually equivalent to the earth tool and the appliance.
    • Touch Leakage Test – The touch test shows the current that would flow if the appliance was touched by a person. The tester will detect any current which maybe flowing in the earth bond lead and indicates potential leakage through a metal panel.
    • Substitute Leakage Test – This test applies a nominal voltage of 40V AC RMS to the appliance between the earth pin and both the live and neutral pins of the mains plug. The tester measures the current flow and scales to display a guide to the current that would flow if the test had been done at normal supply voltage. Values for sub leakage may differ from those gained from conventional earth leakage tests, due to the affects of neutral-to-earth suppression capacitors present. ‘Please note this test may only be applied if conventional insulation and flash tests are both unacceptable methods of testing the insulation of an appliance’.
    • Powered Tests – In this test a mains power supply is applied to show the appliance is working properly.
    • IEC Tests – This test confirms the safety of 230 V IEC Leads. It tests for continuity and polarity on live and neutral conductors and that there are no breaks or cross wiring in the conductors.
    • Flash Tests – This test is to determine that insulation is of sufficient strength to prevent breakdowns especially where high transient voltages are likely. This test can be used on equipment where the voltage withstand rating maybe insufficient to accommodate the test without causing any damage. ‘Please note however that this is not a standard test and will not be carried out as an automatic test.’
    • Insulation Test – This is a test to ensure that there is ample insulation between the mains supply pins and earth. A 500V DC Voltage is applied between the earth pin and both the live and neutral pins of the mains plug. The tester will display any resistance measured and confirms if sufficient insulation exists. ‘Please note that this test is only carried out on class 1 appliances.’