HAVS crisis in Parks and Greenspaces

Essential guidance for those working with vibrating machinery

Photo by isi martínez on Unsplash

Around 20% of ground maintenance staff in the Council suffer from symptoms related to HAVS (hand arm vibration syndrome). Your branch is looking into this concerning figure and trying to understand how big an issue HAVS is in the workforce.

Complete our HAVS survey

Read on for useful information if you work with vibrating machinery.

Issues with HAVS in Parks and Greenspaces

Members have raised concerns that

  • vibration monitoring is not accurate or effective
  • there is no testing for whole-body vibration
  • old items of machinery have very strong vibrations.
  • PPE to help prevent vibration is not supplied readily
  • Your branch is working to
  • improve HAVS monitoring and ensure it is accurate
  • protect staff wellbeing from overwork
  • get staff the training to safely operate the machinery—and access to further learning
  • get appropriate risk assessments for all jobs
  • ensure everyone is supplied with the correct PPE.

Contact the rep in your area with any issues or share your experiences in the comment box below.

HAVs or a similar related issues has been a major problem for us in Parks for a while now, with many of us suffering from its effects.

You will find it is not only our work life that suffers but our personal life as well. Simple day-to-day activities such as pulling up a zip, holding a glass or even playing with your children becomes a problem.

That’s why catching it early, reporting it to your manager before it gets worse is very important.

Gary Welsh – Supervisor Gardener / Workplace Rep (Parks & Greenspaces)

Suffering from HAVS?

Call the Edinburgh office on 0131 556 9676 if you have a claim.

Read how Unite Legal Services get you compensation if you are suffering HAVS as a result of your work. Legal claims must be filed within 3 years of when you were diagnosed or the injury started.

Worried about developing HAVS?

Read the HSE guidance for workers at risk of HAVS. If you begin to feel the symptoms of HAVS inform your line manager immediately and ensure that this is reported under RIDDOR.

If you have symptoms of HAVS, carpal tunnel or cramp in the forearm this must be reported under RIDDOR under Regulation 8.

Also, contact your health and safety rep immediately.

Safety at work

The Council have a legal responsibility to provide appropriate information, instruction, supervision and training for you to do your job properly.

If you feel that this has not been provided, contact a rep in your area and raise the issue with your line manager.

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