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DOUBT CAST ON VIBRATION REDUCING RETROFITS

Chisel sleeves only shown to reduce vibration to the user and exposure

HSE has published R990 – Retrofit anti-vibration devices: A study of their effectiveness and influence on hand-arm vibration exposure.

The report concerns a project to determine what benefits, if any, could be gained in terms of reducing vibration exposure by retrofitting different types of anti-vibration device to different hand-held machines.

Four types of device were selected for laboratory investigation: anti-vibration handles; spring balances/tensioners; a vibration reducing flange; and chisel sleeves.

The authors concluded:

“The results from all the different retrofit anti-vibration devices used in this project, with the exception of the chisel sleeves, demonstrate that an end user cannot be confident that their chosen retrofit device will in fact reduce vibration to the user and in turn reduce exposure. Indeed, the exact opposite may be true.

A retrofit device may affect the dynamics of a machine which can change the vibration levels in unpredictable ways. If retrofit devices are not used with the machines for which they were intended, they should be applied with caution.

Advice to end users should emphasise the need to speak to their suppliers to determine what, if any, retrofit devices are suitable for their equipment.”

 

 

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