January 10, 2017 | admin |

Why Do My Fingers Tingle After Work?

Why Do My Fingers Tingle After Work?

If you’re noticing that your fingers are tingling after a hard day at work, reflect on the jobs you’re doing throughout the day. If you’re regularly working with impact or vibrating tools, tingling in your fingers could be symptoms of a serious issue.

construction worker using jack hammer

It goes by many names including “white finger,” or “dead finger” but the official term is “hand-arm vibration syndrome” or HAVS for short. It’s characterized by loss of color in the hands and tingling in the fingertips.

This post discusses hand-arm vibration syndrome, its causes, symptoms and preventative measures. If you’re experiencing the symptoms discussed in this article, visiti your doctor.


What is Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome?

Hand-arm vibration syndrome is the name for symptoms caused by vibration damages that may occur in the fingers, hands and arms when working with vibrating tools or machinery.

HAVS doesn’t set in overnight, it takes time. If exposure continues on an ongoing basis, the blood vessels in the fingers will begin to collapse. Skin and muscle tissue won’t receive enough oxygen and the tissue eventually dies. Resulting in numbness in the affected areas.


What Causes HAVS?

Any vibrating or pneumatic power tool can cause HAVS. Injuries can occur from using vibrating tools at frequencies between 5 and 2000 Hz but the greatest risk for fingers is between 50 and 300 Hz.


Effects of HAVS:

HAVS can affect nerves, joints, muscles, blood vessels or connective tissues of the hands and forearms and take on several different symptoms:


1. Blood Vessels:

One of the earliest indicators of HAVS is tingling or a loss of feeling in your fingers. It may only be in the fingertips at first, but as exposure continues, it can result in permanent numbness, spreading up your hand and into the arm.


2. Blood Vessel Symptoms:

Once the effects of HAVS begins, cold weather can affect your hands. Fingers will become pale and loss feeling. This may be follow by intense flush of color and accompanied by pain when blood circulation returns.  It’s a similar feeling to when your foot falls asleep and it prickles when you try to wake it up.


3. Nerve Symptoms:

As symptoms worsen, manual dexterity and grip strength will diminish. Simple tasks like pouring water into a glass or buttoning your shirt become difficult.


HAVS Prevention:

Many countries have legislation to limit worker exposure to vibration.

Steps include wearing vibration-dampening gloves and using equipment that transmits less vibration. The Centers for Disease Control lists the vibration data of different models of power tools.

One thing to keep in mind is that using a tool that vibrates less for a longer period of time can be as damaging as using a heavily-vibrating tool for a short time.

OSHA recommends the following preventative measures:

  • Maintain machines, unbalanced rotating parts can give off excessive vibration.
  • Alternate between vibrating and non-vibrating tasks to give your body a rest.
  • Restrict the hours a worker uses vibrating tools and allow employees to take 15 minute breaks from those tools every hour.
  • Train workers about the dangers of vibration exposure.

Choose anti-vibration gloves that are certified to EN ISO 10819, like our Vibrastop™ Anti-Vibration Gloves.

anti-vibration glove for hand-arm vibration syndrome


Need more proof that these gloves work?

Read how this glove reduced hand-arm vibration syndrome at one U.S. windshield repair company.

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