See the list below for some examples of what can be done.
- Use gloves, do not work with cold hands
- Optimize the work shift
- Job rotation
- Regular breaks from vibration
- Use better tools
- Mitigate vibrations
- Regular maintenance of tools
- New or revised work methods
This is an important preventive measure. If the staff is aware of the potential dangers, they can try to change their behavior so as to minimize the risks. When they are informed of the risks, they can also make their own judgment about the dangers both in the short- and long-term. Most people do not know that vibration exposure can cause permanent damage.
The main objective is to keep the hands warm since working with cold hands increases the risk of sustaining vibration injuries.
Plan the work operations so as to extend the total exposure to vibrations during the day.
Try to move around to different work tasks, e.g. on a weekly basis.
It is important to take regular breaks, allowing the hands a short time recovery. If possible, try to divide the vibrating work into 30-minute sessions with a 5-10-minute breaks in between. Note that breaks do not necessarily mean the same as doing nothing. Work with no exposure to vibrations can still be performed during these “vibration breaks”.
Some tool manufacturers have worked hard to develop tools that vibrate less. When replacing old tools, it is recommended to choose tools with lower declared vibration levels. If you are unsure, you can often borrow a tool for evaluation before deciding to invest in it.
In some professions, it is possible to use anti-vibration gloves. This type of gloves is most effective when using high-speed tools. Another way is to dampen vibrations in the tool handle, such as wearing vibration-dampening silicone socks or by installing a special dampening tool handle.
A worn tool may well vibrate 3-4 times more than a new one. Regular maintenance and replacement of worn tools is an effective measure to reduce vibration exposure.
This action means that you should review the work practices to find other options that provide a lower vibration exposure. Some examples:
- Replace bolting or riveting with gluing. It is possible to mount plasterboards with a combination of glue and screws, instead of just using screws.
- Optimize the program for CNC/NC machines to minimize vibrating post-processing operations, such as drilling or grinding.