Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) is the main concern posed by exposure to vibration. Sometimes this is called as ‘white finger’ or ‘carpal tunnel’ syndrome. HAVS is caused by the transfer of vibration through a workers hands and arms, in as little as 6 months. Nerve damage and restricted blood flow to the hands and fingers can occur. This causes the debilitating symptoms and effects known as Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome.
What Are The Effects of HAVS/Hand-Arm Vibration?
Some of the common symptoms of HAVS, as described by the HSE, are listed below. Many sufferers experience a wide range of debilitating effects due to the condition that can impact in both their day to day lives and in their ability to work.
- Pain, tingling and total loss of feeling
- Reduced strength and grip ability
- Muscle wasting
- Reynaud’s disease (White fingers that become painfully red)
The loss of feeling, and pain often results in sufferers struggling to work. This especially can happen in the industry that caused their condition. Because of this, in the day to day life, simple tasks such as doing up buttons and picking things up become challenging especially as the condition often deteriorates once developed. These symptoms make it clear that HAVS is a serious disease, which operators should be protected from.
What Work Causes HAVS?
Any work that includes consistent or frequent exposure to vibration through the hands or arms can lead to debilitating and permanent health problems. Most commonly this is caused by the use of a tool that vibrates during use, but it is important to recognise how broad this category is and the large number of operators that may be at risk.
Industries that can be affected are as follows :
- Road and rail workers
- Construction Industry
- Estate management
- Heavy Engineering
- Lab work
Examples of equipment and tools that pose a risk are as follows:
- Hammer Drills
- Lawn Mowers
- Impact Wrenches
The most effective way of controlling & monitoring exposure is by carrying out HAV testing which we do at Cas Assembly and Tooling. Here is some more information and is really important you take care of employees by having these tools tested on a regular basis.
If you need any further information, have any queries or would like to arrange for your tools to be calibrated, let us know on 0121 327 1700.