Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome: Protecting Powered Hand Tool Operators
- Mark B. Geiger (Naval Safety Center, Pentagon Liaison Office) | Donald Wasserman (occupational vibration consultant) | Steven G. Chervak (Aberdeen Proving Ground) | Craig M. Henderson (U.S. Navy, retired) | Elizabeth Rodriquez-Johnson (Concurrent Technologies Corp.) | Aimee Ritchey (Concurrent Technologies Corp.)
- Document ID
- American Society of Safety Engineers
- Professional Safety
- Publication Date
- November 2014
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 34 - 42
- 2014. American Society of Safety Engineers
- 0 in the last 30 days
- 71 since 2007
- Show more detail
- Hand-arm vibration is a potentially irreversible neurovascular disease associated with intense and prolonged exposures to vibration, most commonly from powered hand tools.
- EU regulations have created an increased awareness of hand-arm vibration disease and demand for low-vibration powered hand tools, while the U.S. has lagged in this regard.
- A collaborative project was initiated to influence procurement criteria for powered tools, improve the availability of low-vibration tools for the federal workforce and increase general awareness through outreach and education.
- Current collaboration has been extended to industry partners and is focused on development of a standard that will consider productivity, hand-arm vibration, other safety and health factors’ and life-cycle costs in procurement criteria for powered hand tools.
Use of powered hand tools is essential to a range of U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) mission-critical equipment and facilities maintenance, corrosion control processes and operations. A high percentage of nondefense-related industrial production, fabrication and maintenance operations also depend on powered hand tools. Many of these operations are associated with hand-arm vibration (HAV) levels of sufficient intensity and duration to create risk of a preventable, but irreversible occupational disease described as hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). The syndrome may affect up to 50% of workers in particular operations and has been reported in the U.S. since the early 1900s (NIOSH, 1983; Pelmear & Wasserman, 1994; Taylor, Wasserman, Behrens, et al., 1994; Wasserman, 1998) as well as in other countries (Mirbod, Yoshida, Komura, et al., 1994; Yoo, Lee, Lee, et al., 2005).
In 2005, EU adopted legal workplace vibration standards, but the U.S. is lagging to develop similar legally binding criteria (EU, 2002; EU-OSHA, 2008; Geiger, Borcicky, Burdge, et al., 2010). Rather, the U.S. has alternatively adopted voluntary consensus standards that closely follow EU standards (ANSI, 2006) and are generally considered to supersede previous consensus criteria (ACGIH, 2001, 2014).
In a proactive effort to minimize the risk of HAVS occurrence in the federal workforce of power-tool users, a Defense Safety Oversight Council (DSOC) project was initiated to improve low-vibration power hand tools and suitable certified protective equipment available in the federal supply system, provide educational outreach, and process management guidance necessary to minimize the risk of disease and disability among DOD personnel and other federal power-tool users (Geiger, 2006; Geiger, et al., 2010).
|File Size||962 KB||Number of Pages||9|