Anti-vibration gloves don’t do much to protect hands and arms from tool and machine shaking. Hear about the initial studies and NIOSH’s recommendations.
NIOSH, The National Institute For Occupational Safety And Health, says those purported anti-vibration gloves do a poor job of isolating vibrations from sanders, grinders, pavement tampers and other equipment.
In this podcast, Dan Clark explains NIOSH’s preliminary tests, and what companies and workers should do while waiting for the results of the final study.
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Dan Clark: Have you paid good money for anti-vibration gloves? Guess what! They may not be as good as they claim. They may not prevent HAVS—Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome. They may be a gimmick. Let’s wiggle into it next.
Hello, I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, tackling health and safety hazards in today’s demanding industrial and construction worksites, compliments of Creative Safety Supply.
Hey, do me a favor. Go to creativesafetysupply.com. When you find the safety goods you need, use coupon code BIG10 for 10 percent off.
Anti-vibration gloves sound like just the ticket to isolate jiggling tools and machines. But wait! Their claims are being challenged. They may not prevent Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome.
On the white horse is NIOSH, The National Institute For Occupational Safety And Health. They’re doing the sniff test on published scientific literature. They’re spearheading new research to see how effective anti-vibration gloves are at reducing the amount of quaking that reaches your hands.
Initial studies have found that not all gloves are as effective as we might think. One study found the palms tend to be more protected from vibration than the fingers. They also found that the gloves do a better job of reducing vibration when there’s a higher frequency of vibration coming from the tool.
• For medium to high frequencies, such as grinders and saws, gloves reduced vibration 5 to 20 percent.
• Lower frequency tools, such as vibrating forks and pavement tampers, didn’t do so well. Some gloves reduced the vibrations a small amount, while others actually increased the vibration reaching the hand.
AND THIS IS SERIOUS STUFF. Vibrations cause HAVS, Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome, a sometimes debilitating condition caused by exposure to shuddering and shaking tools and equipment, usually over extended periods of time. It can impact the nerves, blood vessels, muscles and joints in the hand and arm. Symptoms include tingling, a weakened grip, numbness and skin discoloration.
SO, NOW WHAT? Here are some suggestions from NIOSH. NIOSH eventually plans to include its new findings in a safety guide. Until the research is complete, companies should spend extra time determining which types of anti-vibration gloves will be best suited to each task. However it’s always best to rely more heavily on engineering and administrative controls to reduce vibration exposures.
• Select equipment that vibrates less.
• Reduce the amount of time workers spend using vibrating tools.
That’s all for this episode, Anti-Vibration Gloves A Gimmick? Come back for more ways to stay safety compliant in today’s ever-changing landscape of safety requirements. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, a service of Creative Safety Supply. Save 10 percent off your entire order at creativesafetysupply.com with coupon code BIG10.
See detailed study information here.
glove and tools images © 2015 Pixabay ClkerFreeVectorImages; wave image © 2015 Pixabay geralt; image of vibratory rammer by Wikimedia Commons
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