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Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)

Please email your expression of interest

Faculty of Occupational Medicine


Other available dates: email us to book


The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations came into force in the UK in 2005. HSE's Guidance on the Regulations requires all occupational health professionals to undergo training in the recognition and management of workers with hand-arm vibration syndrome. The syllabus for the training and the quality of training is overseen by the Faculty of Occupational Medicine.

Wellcome Images - Raynaud's PhenomenonThe HAVS assessment unit opened in Sheffield in 1998 before moving to Buxton and has performed assessments on over 9000 workers. Two-day training courses have been running at Buxton for 12 years and demand for them is now so great that there are five courses per year. So as to provide more individual teaching and small group sizes for the parallel sessions delegate numbers are limited to 20 per course. One-day refresher courses are also available for accredited specialists in occupational medicine or for those who have been on a two-day course.

Scientists at HSL have conducted several HSE-funded research projects into HAVS as well as studies on disability caused by hand-transmitted vibration. In 2004, HSL published a systematic review and guidance on the use of objective testing for HAVS which was commissioned by the Faculty of Occupational Medicine. Recent research includes an analysis of the relationship between clinical staging and standardised tests, the use of magnetic resonance angiography in vascular HAVS, multi-segmental nerve conduction tests, a new classification for HAVS and the use of monofilaments for sensory perception testing.

This comprehensive and highly rated course is designed for occupational health nurses, occupational physicians, GPs with an interest in occupational health and hand surgeons. It will set out the key areas of HAVS assessment and provide guidance on how to examine and manage cases of HAVS. Time has been set aside for case scenarios, question and answer sessions.

As part of the course there will be parallel workshops and Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) to develop your practical skills.

Please note when booking this course you will be required to quote your NMC or GMC number.

At the end of the course there will be an assessment and those who are successful will receive a certificate from the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (FOM).

The course will cover:

  • Legal requirements;
  • Calculation of cumulative vibration exposure
  • Risk assessment;
  • Pathophysiology;
  • Control of vibration exposure;
  • Clinical examination;
  • Diagnosis;
  • Standardised clinical and laboratory tests;
  • Staging;
  • Tier 1 to 5 health surveillance;
  • Case management;
  • Health record and medical report writing.
  • The opportunity to validate your monofilaments.

Presenters include:

• Mr Paul Pitts is HSL's noise & vibration technical lead.
• Dr Howard Mason is a Principal Scientist at HSL and co-author of the FOM HAVS review
• Dr Jon Poole MD FRCP FFOM is an accredited consultant occupational physician with a joint appointment at HSL and the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.


The course will be run at the HSL laboratory in the spa town of Buxton. Buxton is in the heart of the Peak District and has good links to mainline train stations and Manchester International Airport.

Details of hotels in the Buxton area can be found at


The cost of this two-day course is £825 per person (to include course notes, lunches and dinner at a restaurant in Buxton on the first night ). Please note that this fee now includes the FOM certificate.



Please note that all courses must be paid for via credit card at the time of booking.

For further dates and additional information email: or contact the Training and Events Team at HSE directly on +44 (0)203 028 3704.

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