Hand-arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) is one of the disorders that industrial workers are exposed to at the workplace. Hand and arm vibration syndrome occurs due to transfer of vibration from a tool to the hand and arm of the worker when the acceleration of the tool is much greater than a safe threshold. Speaking more technically in medical terms, this disease involves circulatory, sensory and motor, and musculoskeletal disturbances that result in loosening of grip, loss of strength in hands, and numbness of fingers.
Causes of HAVS
The major cause of HAVS is the use of vibrating tools powered by electricity, gasoline or compressed air such as powered hammers, chisels, chainsaw, grinders, sanders, jackhammers, RO membrane housing etc to which the workers are exposed on daily basis. Their continued use without proper preventive measures can cause physical damage to hands and arms. The workers exposed to the risk of such kind are those working in foundry, construction, forestry, quarry and mining, railroad, water filter element and agriculture fields and in some other fields where vibrating tools are commonly used in daily tasks.
Here are a few signs and symptoms that help industrial workers identify if they have suffered from Hands-Arm Vibration Syndrome:
1. Blanching or whitening of finger tips on exposure to cold or damp weather. This condition is known as Raynaud’s phenomenon
2. The skin of fingers and hands gets bluish or discoloured
3. Fingers and hands feel numb during or after blanching. There may be feeling of tingling too during the numbness
4. Sense of touch or pain sensation is reduced
5. Grip is decreased and the victim cannot sustain muscle power in hands
6. Palms of hands are not affected with any of the above symptoms
If these symptoms are ignored the affected person looses the grip strength and membrane housing cannot hold the objects firmly. This condition interferes with daily routine works at home as well as workplace. The problem can become even more serious in winters as vessel spasm may occur, which can cause severe pain.
Prevention and Treatment
As soon as it is realised that one has suffered from this disease due to holding vibrating instrument for a long time, one must restore circulation to whitened fingers immediately by swinging the arms or by doing any other exercises that increase circulation in affected body parts. This can also be done by putting the hands in warm water. Warm and dry clothes may help avoid this condition by maintaining body temperature.
Neurological disorder caused by HAVS requires immediate removal from exposure to vibration. In case you loved this informative article and you want to receive much more information with regards to water filter element assure visit our own website. The steps taken to improve circulation also help nerve recovery. Doctor’s advice is essential in order to rule out the other causes of similar symptoms.
Since the damaged caused by Hands Arm Vibration Syndrome is progressive, it is essential that the exposure to vibration is withdrawn to prevent from any further damage. The removal from vibration exposure may help recover circulatory effects of this disease, but full recovery from neurological disorder is almost very difficult.
If workers are well-trained in identifying the symptoms of hands and arm vibration syndrome in early stages and are able to identify if the condition of tools are usable without much vibratory affects, this syndrome can be prevented.