Hand-Arm and Whole-Body vibration

Control of Noise at Vibration Regulations 2005 (CoVAWR)

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE Statistics: Causes and Kind of Disease – Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome), Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) has become the most commonly reported disease under RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases & Dangerous Occurrences Regulations). Over exposure of hands to high levels of vibration can lead to permanent disability of equipment operators.  

With the introduction of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations (the UK implementation of the EU Physical Agents Directive) there is now a clear and direct duty on employers to assess and manage the vibration risks associated with the use of vibrating tools and equipment. This also extends to vibration risks associated with whole body vibration, typically experienced when seated or standing in areas where vibration is experienced. The operation of high vibration tools, and sitting or standing in high vibration areas for extended periods, can lead to possible injury and, in particular, damage to blood circulation. 

Failure to comply with these Regulations could lead to legal action (liability for compensation, and prosecution under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974). Addressing workplace noise and vibration issues could also improve productivity, through a better working environment, and more efficient plant/operations.

Whether an industrial plant, an offshore installation or a shipping or fishing vessel (under the Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels Control of Vibration at Work Regulations), we can help manage occupational vibration and achieve compliance.

Our Services

The Acoustics and Vibration Group, a specialist team within Bureau Veritas, offers services for identifying and managing both hand-arm and whole-body vibration in the workplace and can provide cost-effective solutions to help employers meet the regulatory requirements. Our services include:

• Assessment of employee exposure to Hand-Arm Vibration (HAV) and Whole-Body Vibration (WBV) 

• Compilation of hand-held equipment datasheets and associated time to achieve the regulatory exposure action values as defined in CoVAWR

• Provision of vibration management plans to enable compliance with the regulations and HSE requirements

• Workplace risk assessments

• Identification of tools or processes likely to induce HAVS

• Measures to reduce occupational vibration

• Training of local operators in assessing vibration. Discover our dedicated training page here. 

VEMS (Vibration Exposure Management System)

Under the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005, employers are required to make a risk assessment, which should assess exposure levels and identify the measures that need to be taken to reduce health and safety risks to employees from vibration. 

This can be an extremely challenging and complex process, especially for large employers with a significant number of tools and equipment. However, it is vital that organisations get it right - particularly when you consider that Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) has become the most commonly reported disease under RIDDOR. 

What is VEMS?

Conventional manual paper systems can be onerous and time-intensive, do not allow easy visibility across the business and can lead to mistakes being made or documents lost. 

Bureau Veritas have developed VEMS (Vibration Exposure Management System), a paperless solution which simplifies the process of assessing the exposure to Hand-Arm Vibration in line with the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005. 

With VEMS, organisations can manage their regulatory requirements with respect to carrying out a vibration risk assessment across the whole organisation, with automatic calculations for complete peace of mind. 

Developed in-house by Bureau Veritas experts, this intuitive system contains vibration magnitudes of measured tools so managers can quickly and easily calculate vibration exposures of employees simply by inputting tool use times for the day. This allows them to manage the risk of exposure more efficiently and more effectively. 

Furthermore, this data is recorded in order to track and trend vibration exposures throughout the year.

VEMS benefits

• Supports compliance with Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005

• Runs off Microsoft Excel – intuitive, easy to use, with no further licences required

• Easy to identify employees requiring health surveillance/awareness 

• Recording facilities for assessment of ongoing compliance

• Bespoke system designed in-house by experts in the specialist Acoustics and Vibration division of Bureau Veritas 

• Proven usability and functionality, enhanced based on feedback from live client trials

• Opportunity to tailor content to your organisation - full training provided 

• Access to further support from Bureau Veritas experts, covering all aspects of testing, inspection and compliance 

Why choose Bureau Veritas?

As a specialist division of Bureau Veritas UK Ltd, the Acoustics and Vibration team brings together a wealth of experience and expertise to deliver noise and vibration consultancy to a wide range of clients. 

Bureau Veritas is a global leader in testing, inspection and certification, combining a partnership approach with unrivalled expertise to deliver a complete solution that adds value, supporting our clients to achieve compliance and improve productivity.

Contact us


Acoustics and Vibration Group
0845 600 1828
Send an e-mail

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