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CES Toolbox Talks Tuesday: Good Vibrations

 

CES Toolbox Talks Tuesday: Good Vibrations

Hand-Arm Vibration

power plate fitstop vibration trainerThe Beach Boys were all about the good vibrations. And what about those vibrating gadgets that people stand/lie/pose on at the gym (and no doubt will be in their droves now it’s the new year), another source of good vibrations that apparently will give us a six-pack! Unfortunately, the vibrations aren’t always those good ones in our industry with Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome putting nearly 2 million people at risk. This week’s Toolbox Talk Tuesday is all about the effects and sources of hand-arm vibration and what we can do to prevent it.

hand arm vibration safetyHand-Arm Vibration is caused by working with percussive and rotating hand-held tools such as chainsaws, grinders, impact drills, sanders, polishers and power hammers amongst many others. Manufacturers have a duty under the Supply of Machinery Regulations to list the vibration emission in Literature with their machines. Symptoms of hand-arm vibration can begin with tingling, pins and needles, pain and throbbing in fingers. Many of these symptoms will appear after years of working with vibrating tools but some can emerge after just months. Other signs to be aware of are hands going white (blanching) and then red and painful when they recover. Often you will lose strength in your hands and cause damage to blood vessels, nerves, tendons, ligaments, muscles and bones, all of which can affect your manual dexterity and ability to work. Long term problems may be Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (severe neve pains in the hands particularly at night). All these issues associated with Hand-Arm vibration are irreversible and don’t only cause obstacles in terms of your work but also with the ability to carry out everyday jobs such as tying shoelaces and doing up buttons.

Good VibrationsSo, let’s get on to turning those bad vibrations into good vibrations that support us in our construction work! How can we prevent excessive vibration exposure? Of course, the first thing we can do is avoid the use of hand-held tools that generate vibration but if that is not possible select tools with low-vibration or vibration-reduced tools. Get you mathematics hat on and look into calculating trigger time limits and do not exceed them as well as ensuring you take regular breaks. If you are working in a cold environment, keep your hands warm and exercise your fingers during breaks. Make sure you are using good techniques when using hand-held tools such as not gripping too tightly or using excessive force (let the tool do the work). Always keep you hands warm and dry by wearing gloves but don’t rely on anti-vibration gloves as they have little effect. Finally if you have any of the symptoms we have discussed in this blog, do not delay and report them to your supervisor.

 Keep those hands warm and dry and help to prevent symptoms of Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome with CES's range of gloves. The featured OX Pro Waterproof Thermal Latex Gloves were £5.60 and are now £3.50 a pair or £3.00 when buying 12 or more, grab yours now! 

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