Prepare and Prevent, don’t repair and repent! “A company based across the UK have been fined £500,000 for hundreds of their employees that have been diagnosed with Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, over a 9-year period! Even though the employers had the knowledge of importance, they did not take on board any advice once having their Occupational Health Surveillance provided to their employees.”
What causes HAV’s?
Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVs) is caused by using handheld vibration tools, this causes vibrations going through the hands and arms. This can cause nerve damage and can restrict blood flow to the arm and fingers. Any job that causes you to use vibration tools regularly can give you HAVs
What are the symptoms of HAVs:
(please note there will be other symptoms not included in the list below)
- Tingling in the hand or arm
- Loss in fine motor skills
- Reynaud’s Disease (white fingers, this can also cause your hands to be red)
- Lack of grip
- Numbness in the hand or arm
- Loss of strength
If symptoms are not caught early or are left un-assessed, the possibility of developing Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome is highly likely. Please see below what effects of HAVs symptoms can have on the individual.
Some Effects of HAVs symptoms:
(please note there will be other effects of the symptoms not included in the list below)
· Pain, Distress and sleep disturbance, this can affect your ability at work.
· Unable to use your finger to do small tasks such as picking up small objects and other activities.
· Reduces the ability to work in cold or damp conditions, such as working our doors in cold weather.
· Reduces your grip strength, this can affect your ability at work.
Different tools at work can cause HAVs, please see below some different tools.
What tools that can give you HAVs:
(please note there will be other tools that can cause HAVs not included in the list below)
- Hammer Drills
- Vibro Etching Pen
- Jack Hammer
- Lawn Mowers
Different Job can affect your hands and arms at work, please see below some different jobs that can give you a higher chance of getting HAVs.
Some Job that’s can give you a higher chance of getting HAVs:
(please note there will be other job roles that can cause HAVs not included in the list below)
- Road workers
- Railway worker
- Laboratory worker
- Heavy Engineering
- Motor vehicle manufacturing and repair
- Refractory worker
“By law, as an employer, you must assess and identify measures to eliminate or reduce risks from exposure to hand-arm vibration so that you can protect your employees from risks to their health. Where the risks are low, the actions you take may be simple and inexpensive, but where the risks are high, you should manage them using a prioritised action plan to control exposure to hand-arm vibration.
Where required, ensure that:
- Control measures to reduce vibration are properly applied.
- You provide information, training and health surveillance.”
If any of the above applies to yourself or your employee contact Healthscreen today to get your quote!