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SAFETY PROGRAMME TO PROTECT TWO MILLION WORKERS

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More than two million workers in Great Britain are exposed to either excessive noise or hand arm vibration. The Hea...
More than two million workers in Great Britain are exposed to either excessive noise or hand arm vibration. The Health and Safety Executive launched a new Programme aimed at protecting these workers from suffering permanent damage to their health as a result of their work.

The programme is designed to:

* eliminate new cases of occupational induced hearing damage

* control new cases of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) sufficiently to enable workers to remain at work without disability

The programme will include a range of activities including stakeholder engagement and inspection activity to promote the use of good practice controls measures to control exposure of workers, initially will focus on Hand-Arm Vibration exposure in foundries, heavy fabrication and construction. More information about these controls and the Programme can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/vibration which was relaunched today. For more information about the controlling exposure to excessive noise, visit www.hse.gov.uk/noise

Notes

1 The Noise and Hand-arm Vibration Programme is a programme of activities, in partnership with leading stakeholders, aimed at eliminating new cases of occupational noise-induced hearing damage and controlling HAVS sufficiently to enable workers to remain at work without disability. During April 2006 to March 2007 it will focus on hand-arm vibration at work and during April 2007 to March 2008 noise at work. It applies to all industry sectors that cause high exposures to noise and/ or vibration, but particularly construction, furniture manufacture, foundries, heavy fabrication, machinery and equipment manufacture, motor vehicles and trailers, rubber and plastics and shipbuilding.

2 The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 require employers

to:

* Assess the vibration risk to their employees

* Decide if they are likely to be exposed above a daily exposure action value and if they are introduce a programme of controls and provide health surveillance

* Decide if they are likely to be exposed above the daily exposure limit value and if so take immediate action to reduce their exposure below the limit value

* Provide employees with information, instruction and training

* Keep health records for those under health surveillance

3 The Noise at Work Regulations 2005 require employers to:

* Assess the risks to their employees from noise at work

* Take action to reduce the noise exposure that produces those risks

* Provide their employees with hearing protection if they cannot reduce the noise exposure enough through other methods (making hearing protection available on request at 80 dB and ensuring it is worn at 85 dB)

* Make sure the legal limits on noise exposure (87 dB daily or weekly exposure or peak sound pressure of 140 dB taking account of hearing

protection) are not exceeded

* Provide employees with information, instruction and training

* Carry out health surveillance where there is a risk to health

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