‘Good Vibrations’ Don’t Exist – Protect Your Hands with the Best Anti-Vib Gloves
Don’t believe the Beach Boys – there is no such thing as good vibrations.
Well, at least not in industrial settings.
If you work with power tools such as chainsaws, grinders, and jackhammers, you may be putting yourself at risk for serious disability from Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), also referred to as Vibration White Finger (VWF) as it makes the skin on your fingers appear white or blanched. HAVS can lead to permanent loss of feeling in fingers and in some extreme cases, the loss of the fingers entirely. The symptoms can take anywhere from six months to six years to materialize and in many cases, the damage is permanent. In instances where it takes longer for symptoms to appear, injuries may already be irreversible before someone even knows they have HAVS.
Unlike the Beach Boys, any vibrations you’re “pickin’ up” over an extended period of time can lead to serious injury. But wait – before you throw away the jackhammer, the good news is that there are precautions that can be taken to protect yourself from HAVS.
Best Practices for Avoiding HAVS
If you’re familiar with the Hierarchy of Controls, then you’ll know that the most effective preventative measure is to eliminate the hazard completely. In most cases, this won’t be possible, but as you continue to go down the Hierarchy of Controls (Substitution – replace the hazard, Engineering – isolate people from the hazard, Administrative – change the way people work, and PPE – protect workers with Personal Protective Equipment) see if you can find alternative ways to complete the task, such as using anti- or low-vibration tools.
Here are best practices from OSHA for keeping yourself and your workers safe from HAVS:
- Use dampening techniques or vibration isolators on equipment.
- Keep machines in proper working order.
- Alternate between using vibrating and non-vibrating tools.
- Limit the number of hours you use vibrating tools and take 10- to 15-minute breaks every hour.
- Get informed about vibration hazards and ensure those on your job site have access to that information and provide training on the sources of vibration exposure, early signs and symptoms of HAVS, and best practices for limiting exposure.
- Keep your hands warm and dry and grip the tool as lightly as possible without losing control.
The Best Gloves to Protect Your Hands from HAVS
If you’ve exhausted the Hierarchy of Controls and your best option is to outfit yourself or your workers with PPE, we’ve got a great selection of anti-vibration gloves to keep your hands protected.
Two of our best-selling anti-vibration gloves were recently featured on Home Wrapping’s list of the best anti-vibration gloves for 2019, our S10VIB and VIBGHFV. Both were praised for their high quality and individually for their ergonomic design and durability, respectively.
Check out our Vibrastop™ line-up of high-quality anti-vibration gloves, including the S10VIB and VIBGHFV, designed to provide comfort, dexterity, and protection while performing tasks involving vibrating tools.