Analysis of hand-arm vibration risk to highway utilities maintenance and repair operatives

David J. Edwards, Gary D. Holt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Hand-arm vibration (HAV) is an occupational hazard to workers using hand-held mechanical equipment. Highway utilities maintenance and repair operatives (HUMRo) use an array of such equipment; their risk is assessed as a basis to inform health and safety management, in particular, as a first step in helping establish a semi-automated risk assessment system within a collaborating national (GB) utility contractor organisation. A work study regime is implemented with the collaborating contractor to record HUMRo's use of mechanical hand-held equipment during typical working days. Analyses on these data determine average daily HAV exposure levels and these are evaluated against UK legislative benchmarks. The majority of HUMRo are exposed below the legislative "action" level; while 15% were above this, of which 1.5% of these exceeded the defined legal maximum exposure. Workers performing "opening up/services" work type on "gas supply" equipment might be at most exposure risk; as are "alpha-males" who tend to use mechanical equipment more than their work colleagues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-587
Number of pages8
JournalAutomation in Construction
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Hand-arm vibration
  • Health and safety
  • Mechanical equipment
  • Utilities workers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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