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Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome - Spotlight Safety

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Spotlight Safety | Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome & CTS

HAVS is a widespread recognised industrial disease affecting tens of thousands of workers. It is a disorder that affects the blood vessels, nerves, muscles, and joints, of the hand, wrist, and arm. Its best known effect is vibration-induced white finger (VWF), a term introduced by the Industrial Injury Advisory Council in 1970. Injury can occur at frequencies between 5 and 2000 Hz but the greatest risk is between 50 and 150 Hz.

 Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome | Swift Industrial Supplies

What are the effects?

Excessive exposure to hand arm vibrations can result in various patterns of diseases casually known as HAVS or VWF. This can affect nerves, joints, muscles, blood vessels or connective tissues of the hand and forearm:

  • Tingling ‘whiteness’ or numbness in the fingers (blood vessels and nerves affected): This may not be noticeable at the end of a working day, and in mild cases may affect only the tips of the fingers. As the condition becomes more severe, the whole finger down to the knuckles may become white. Feeling may also be lost.

  • Fingers change colour (blood vessels affected): With continued exposure the person may suffer periodic attacks in which the fingers change colour when exposed to the cold. Initially the fingers rapidly become pale and feeling is lost. This phase is followed by an intense red flush (sometimes preceded by a dusky bluish phase) signalling the return of blood circulation to the fingers and is usually accompanied by uncomfortable throbbing.

  • Loss of manual dexterity (nerves and muscles affected): In more severe forms, attacks may occur frequently in cold weather, not only at work, but during leisure activities, such as gardening, car washing or even watching outdoor sports and may last up to an hour causing considerable pain and loss of manual dexterity and reduced grip strength.

  • In extreme cases, the sufferer may lose fingers. The effects are cumulative. When symptoms first appear, they may disappear after a short time. If exposure to vibration continues over months or years, the symptoms can worsen and become permanent.

Prevention

  • Safely manage and monitor the use of power tools on site
  • Although safety gloves can often be a cause due to limiting the users ability to grip a handle or trigger, some gloves have been designed to help reduce vibration.
 
Tegera 9180 Anti-Vibration Glove

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