Hand-arm vibration exposure from construction tools: Results of a field study

David J. Edwards, Gary D. Holt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


By the nature of its activities, construction poses a significant risk from hand-arm vibration (HAV). The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations place a duty upon employers to limit HAV exposure, which can entail risk assessment of hand-held tools (by using vibration magnitude data). A field study recorded vibration measurements from a range of hand-held construction tools, so that the 'characteristics' of their vibration data could be explored. Substantial variance among vibration data are confirmed resulting from: method of vibration measurement; tool manufacturing tolerances; sharpness of tools' cutting edges; and differing operator techniques. Results of these measurements and analyses provide guidance for construction managers for performing HAV risk assessments. This includes preference for 'real' data over those from controlled conditions, and the need to recognize potential data variance when calculating operators' maximum exposure times.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-217
Number of pages9
JournalConstruction Management and Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Hand tools
  • Hand-arm vibration
  • Health and safety
  • Site operatives
  • Vibration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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