Prevent vibration injuries to hands and arms
Valuable, hands on advice on how to prevent vibration injuries.
Vibration exposure at work can lead to discomfort in the hands and arms due to vascular and nerve damage. Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) caused by exposure to vibration at work is preventable, but once the damage is done it is permanent. Vibration damage can manifest itself as Raynaud's syndrome, paresthesias and carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Raynaud's phenomenon is a problem that causes decreased blood flow to the fingers.
- Paresthesia is an abnormal sensation of the skin (tingling, pricking, chilling, burning, numbness).
- Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that causes numbness, tingling, and pain in the hand and forearm.
Carpenters, masons and construction workers are the most exposed occupational groups. There, almost 70% have been exposed to vibrating, hand-held tools for at least a quarter of their working time. The figures for the metal craft and repair profession as well as installation and service occupations in electricity and electronics are around 40%. In total, about 400,000 men and women have a daily exposure to vibrations for at least a quarter of their working hours, according to the Swedish Work Environment Authority's estimate.