White Finger Disease and How to Prevent it

The common disease related to excessive use and exposure of vibrating machinery is white finger.

An industrial related injury caused by continuous use of vibrating machinery or tools which affects the blood vessels, nerves, muscles and joints of the hand, wrist and arm is called Vibration white finger (VWF), also known as hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS).

Long-term exposure the more common form of vibration HAV, results in a serious condition called Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, or Vibration white finger often manifesting with a blanching or whitening of the fingers. Symptoms include whiteness, tingling, numbness, muscle fatigue, a loss of grip and very often pain from white finger attacks.

Reducing Risk of Vibration Syndrome

Eliminating the cause of vibration or vibration exposure to the worker is the best way of preventing Vibration induced injury. Some ways of doing this could include using non-vibrating tools and machinery to perform the job, such as anti-vibration gloves. Substituting the tool for one with less or reduced vibration, is the next best step. More often than not however, both these options are unavailable.

Safety professionals can however reduce the effects of vibration by implementing several alternative control measures. Engineering vibration reducing or dampening measures, to reduce vibration exposure, or regular cleaning, maintenance and replacement of parts and tools to keep equipment and tools functioning smoothly with minimum jerks and jolts.

Ergodyne® Products

PPE like gloves provide a barrier between the source of the vibration and the worker, reducing the impact on the hands and arms. Gloves like Ergodyne Proflex 9000 Ergodyne Proflex 9000 are certified to meet EN 388:2003/ANSI S3.40/ISO 10819-1996/EN420/ standards for anti-vibration, and in addition to reducing the effects of vibration, helps loosen incorrect and tight gripping of tools; another factor contributing to HAVS.

Further to providing correct PPE, worker training about the long-term effects of vibration exposure and correct tool gripping practices, tool vibration informa and work schedules tailored to minimize the harmful effects of vibration.


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