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Hand-arm Vibration Field Trial Results Released

OPERC Release New Hand-arm Vibration Field Trial Results (IP1005) (10/02/05)

As part of its ongoing research programme into hand-arm vibration (HAV) and hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), OPERC carried out vibration and performance tests on a range of construction tools and have published the results of this work in Information paper IP1005. For the work summarised here, the tools assessed comprised three electric breakers, three combi-hammers and three battery drills.

Vibration measurements were made according to ISO 5349. Three subjects were used for each assessment and where possible at least five repeat measurements were made. Measurements of vibration at the handles of the tools showed that all tools exceeded the 8 hour Exposure Action Value as specified in the EU Physical Agents (Vibration) Directive.

Performance was assessed for the breaker tools by measuring the mass of concrete broken from a 200mm thick 35N concrete slab in ten minutes. For the drills, performance was assessed by measuring the time taken to drill a 100mm deep hole (with a 25mm bit in the combi-hammers and with a 12mm bit in the battery drills).

Combining vibration magnitude data and performance data allowed for the amount of work that could be done before reaching the A(8) 2.5 criterion as specified in the EU Physical Agents (Vibration) Directive, to be calculated. For the breakers this performance was specified as kg of concrete (that could be broken) and for the drills this was specified as number of holes (that could be drilled).