This Monday Tech Talk will focus on Vibration exposure. It is when a vibration enters the body from the part of the body or organ in contact with vibrating equipment. When a worker operates hand-held equipment such as a chain saw or jackhammer, vibration affects hands and arms. Such exposure is called hand-arm vibration exposure.

Our Monday Tech Talk discussing vibration exposure takes a look at many aspect, see below for more information:

If you regularly use vibrating hand-tools or equipment for long periods of time, you could be at risk of developing Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS). This condition is also known as Vibration-Induced White Finger, or Raynaud’s Phenomenon of Occupational Origin. You can receive vibration exposure from a variety of hand tools, such as chainsaws, jackhammers, and grinders. Hand-arm vibration exposure often takes place for 2 to 10 years before health effects become noticeable.

Exposure to whole-body vibration can take place when you are on any equipment, machinery, or structure that vibrates. Examples of people who are at risk of whole-body vibration exposure include bus drivers, farm and heavy equipment operators, and aircraft pilots.

How Vibration Exposure is Measured

There are several types of instruments that can be used to measure vibration. A vibration measurement transducer, which is also known as an accelerometer, can be used to measure vibration that is typically in the range of 5 to 1500 Hz. A frequency analyser is also used to determine the frequency of vibration. There are standards for measuring vibration that should be followed in order to obtain accurate results.

Preventive Measures

  • It is important to limit your exposure to vibration. Here are some good work practices for preventing HAVS:
  • Reduce vibration exposure levels
  • Use anti-vibration tools as per manufacturers’ specifications/instructions
  • Maintain equipment to minimize vibration
  • Keep warm and dry
  • Use anti-vibration gloves
  • Complete periodic medical check-ups
  • Avoid smoking
  • Use a light hand grip that is sufficient to operate the tool safely

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