On the Broadway project, as with all other Multiplex projects, we are aware of the importance of monitoring HAVS for our workforce, and in doing so we make sure the monitoring of HAVS is undertaken regularly by risk assessment and by the usage of a HAVI watch, which is attached to the employee and tool.
We know that this is the minimum standard, but for us to go above and beyond, we felt that all Multiplex Managers who are onsite daily/monitoring contractors undertaking HAVS tasks should be trained to do so. This is because they previously lacked knowledge in the exposure action value and time the tool was being used. With this in mind, The Broadway project invited an external trainer to deliver this training to all staff and made the suggestion that when carrying out health surveillance, pictures should be taken regularly of operatives’ hands, particularly focusing on the changes in colour to fingers.
As much as a great idea this was, we decided instead to start using a thermal imaging infrared camera to read the hands of workers using breakers and other vibrating equipment, as this creates a thermal image of the radiant heat coming from the hand and shows if there is poor circulation, which would be one of the first signs of vibration white finger. When an image is taken and it shows regular cause for concern, we signpost the individual to the onsite nurse who assists with ongoing health surveillance or directs them to a specialist for further checks. This has been greatly recognised by the operatives onsite undertaking works involving HAVS, who are often intrigued to look at the changes in their pictures and are more confident in their own health surveillance.