One of the most important aspects of prevention is to minimise the workers’ exposure to vibrating equipment as much as possible. But since these machines are often integral to the job itself, it is our duty to ensure that we have done enough to lower this exposure. Here are some tips that will go a long way in ensuring that it is so:
There are pneumatic tool companies that manufacture tools that do not vibrate as much as the ones you may be used. There are Anti-Vibration chipping hammers, riveting guns and pavement breakers. There are ways through which tools can be mounted so that they do not vibrate as much as they normally would. By reducing their vibration levels, these tools are not only made safer and smoother to use, but it also reduces the chances of contracting Vibration White Finger. It is, however, imperative that these tools are maintained and kept in great working condition. Some of the maintenance requirements include frequent shock absorber changing.
Workers typically wear cotton or leather based gloves that do not have any sort of vibration absorbing properties. It is advisable that every worker who uses vibrating tools to wear specialised gloves made out of viscoelastic material. These are anti-vibration gloves that may actually help with the management of Vibration White Finger syndrome. Although studies have shown that these gloves do very little to protect the worker against low frequency vibrations, which is the main vibration white finger inducing factor, the viscoelastic gloves can prevent the worker from getting cuts, abrasions and from freezing temperatures. All of these are elements that induce white finger attacks.
Frequently on-going safety trainings should be part and parcel of the company. Employees should be educated on how to safely use vibrating tools, how to maintain them so that the machines keep working smoothly and how not to unnecessarily expose themselves to vibrations in the work place. They should also be trained and educated on the necessary safety gear that should be worn at all times within the working environment.
These practices include:
- If you start seeing the symptoms for VWF then wear the right type of clothing to protect yourself and to keep warm.
- Take frequent breaks to avoid continuous exposure- Use the minimum required hand-grip on any vibrating tools.
- Rest the tool on the working surface as much as possible.
- Do not use faulty tools.
- See a doctor as soon as you notice any Vibration White Finger prognostics.
It is the duty of every employee and employer to ensure that they take as minimal a risk as possible when it comes to exposure to Vibration White Finger. These are just some safety procedures that will help in the course.
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