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Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome

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hand arm vibration syndrome

By Rawlings Oke Godwin

On 4 Jan, 2023

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How to Prevent Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)

Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) is a type of occupational hazard that, as the name suggests, occurs when an individual is exposed to intense vibrations. The person’s hand makes contact with a vibrating object such as a drill or jackhammer. This causes the muscles that control the gripping and finger movements to become stiff and sore, which can eventually lead to numbness, pain, and even long-term damage to the muscles, nerves, and joints. It is estimated that nearly one-third of all construction workers are at risk for this condition.

One of the major causes of HAVS is the use of vibrating tools for prolonged periods of time.

Causes Of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome

Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome
Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome

Hand-arm vibration syndrome cause includes

-Exposure to vibration from power tools, such as saws, drills, and sanders

-Exposure to vibration from vehicles, such as motorcycles, cars, and trucks

-Exposure to vibration from industrial equipment, such as grinders, mixers, and drilling machines

-Exposure to vibration from hand-held power tools, such as blowers and hedge trimmers

-Exposure to vibration from construction equipment, such as jackhammers and pile drivers

-Exposure to vibration from agricultural equipment, such as tractors and threshers

Use of vibrating hand tools

Symptoms of hand-arm vibration syndrome

Symptoms vary depending on the cause, but may include:

-Tingling or numbness in the fingers

-Pain in the fingers, hands, or arms

-Weakness in the fingers, hands, or arms

-A decrease in the ability to feel temperature or pain in the fingers, hands, or arms

-A decrease in the ability to grip objects

-A white or bluish color in the fingers or hands

-Swelling in the fingers or hands

-A decrease in the range of motion in the fingers

Prevention Of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome

There is no one definitive answer to how to prevent HAVS, as there are many potential contributing factors. However, some general tips to help reduce the risk of developing HAVS include:

1. Use the correct tools and equipment for the job – this includes ensuring that the tools are of the correct size and weight, and that they are fitted with the correct handle for the user.

2. Take breaks regularly and move around – it is important to get up and move around every so often, even if it is just to walk around the room. This helps to keep the blood flowing and reduce the risk of developing circulatory problems.

3. Maintain good posture – keeping a good posture when using hand tools helps to reduce the risk of muscular and joint problems in the hands and arms.

4. Use vibration-reducing gloves – vibration-reducing gloves can help to reduce the amount of vibration exposure to the hands and arms.

5. Keep hands and arms warm – keeping the hands and arms warm can help to protect them from the effects of vibration.

Conclusion

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it is important to see a doctor and get properly diagnosed. Left untreated, Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome can cause long-term damage to your hands and arms. There is no cure for the syndrome, but there are treatments that can help improve your symptoms.

Graphic: Pulsar Instruments, Seton.

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