Hand-Arm Vibration Checklist

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Labor Occupational Health Program

Summary Statement

A checklist for hand/arm vibration including items such as hazard identification, medical monitoring, training and tool design. Part of a collection. Click on the 'collection' button to access the other items.

These tailgate/toolbox talks were developed for use under California OSHA regulations. The complete set is available from the Labor Occupational Health Program at UC Berkeley. For ordering information, visit the website (www.lohp.org) The American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has adapted these talks to apply to federal OSHA regulations. To contact ACGIH, visit its web site (www.acgih.org).

Date Prepared:_________________________ By:_______________________
Project Name/No.______________________ Location:__________________

  • Check the box if the statement is true.
  • Fill in the blanks where thePencil Icon appears.
  • Citations in brackets are from Title 8 of the California Administrative Code.


  • The company has a written Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) that meets all Cal/OSHA requirements. It includes identification of vibration hazards on the site, regular inspections, accident investigation, and correction of hazardous conditions. [1509]
  • All tools that may pose a vibration hazard have been identified.
Pencil Icon Vibrating tools used on this site:
  • drills
  • jackhammers
  • asphalt breakers
  • grinders
  • chain saws
  • chipping tools
  • concrete vibrators and levelers
  • needle guns
  • polishers
  • sanders
  • riveters
  • compactors
  • other pneumatic tools:_____________________
  • other electric tools:_______________________

  • Workers are encouraged to report tools that are causing particular problems. [1509]


  • Health monitoring is provided for workers exposed to vibration. It includes pre-employment and annual exams.
  • Health monitoring is conducted by a qualified health provider who is fully aware of the signs and symptoms of hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). The health provider receives detailed information regarding the worker’s exposure to vibration.
  • Any worker who develops prolonged signs and symptoms of hand-arm vibration syndrome is removed from further exposure to vibration. Anyone removed retains all earnings and seniority.
  • Workers who use vibrating tools are trained in the effects of vibration and methods for reducing exposure. [1509]
  • Training includes information on factors that increase vibration-induced health risks (including cold, noise, and smoking).
  • Non-vibrating tools are used instead of vibrating tools whenever possible.
  • Tools with vibration-reducing features are purchased and used whenever possible. Tool suppliers are asked to provide evidence that their equipment reduces vibration.
  • Vibrating tools are equipped with grips made of heavy rubber or similar vibration-damping material.
  • Tools are inspected daily before use and are kept clean. [1699(a)]
  • Tools are well maintained. They are kept sharp, lubricated, and tuned. (Tools that are worn, out of alignment, or otherwise in poor condition can produce greater vibration.)
  • Damaged, defective, or worn tools are tagged and removed from service until repaired. [1699(a), 3556(a), and 3556(c)]
  • The number of hours in a day, and the number of days in a week, that a worker uses vibrating tools is kept to a minimum.
  • Operators of vibrating tools take a 10-minute break each hour and/or alternate work with vibrating and non-vibrating tools.


  • Workers use only tools with which they have experience, or on which they have been trained. [1510(b)]
  • Operators “let the tool do the work” by using the smallest amount of grip force possible (while still maintaining control of the tool).
  • If necessary, personal protective equipment (PPE) is provided by the company and worn by workers. The types used are appropriate for the work and give adequate protection. [1514]
  • Workers using tools always wear safety glasses with side shields or other eye/face protection. Eye and face protection meets the requirements of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z 87.1 1989, American National Standard Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection. [3382(d)(1)]
  • Gloves and adequate cold weather clothing are worn when necessary. (Cold contributes to hand-arm vibration syndrome.) [1520]
  • Gloves have vibration-damping material in palms and fingers. They fit properly and don’t increase the grip force required to control the tool.
  • Workers exposed to foot injuries from crushing or penetrating actions, hot surfaces, falling objects, or hazardous substances, or who are required to work in abnormally wet locations, use appropriate foot protection such as steel-toed safety shoes and/or boots. (For jackhammers, workers wear a steel covering over the whole foot, not just the toes.) [3385]
  • Workers exposed to noise in excess of 90 dB use hearing protection.(Noise contributes to hand-arm vibration syndrome.) [1521(g) and 5096(b)]


  • If there has been more than one ergonomic injury within a year to workers doing the same task, the company has set up a program to identify and correct these hazards and provide relevant training. [5110]

For more information on power tools in general, see the Checklist on Portable Power Tools.