Although your employer has a duty to protect your health, there are things that you can do to reduce your risk of developing HAVS.
- Be aware of the information provided on usage limits (trigger time limits) for vibrating tools, and make sure you do not exceed them.
- Relax your grip and let the tool do the work. Applying too much force or gripping too tightly results in more vibration being transmitted to the hands.
- Take regular breaks when using vibrating tools, and during those breaks exercise your fingers to improve the blood supply.
- Keep your hands warm – cold hands are more prone to damage from vibration.
Remember the following.
- Smokers are more likely to get HAVS than non-smokers (as smoking reduces circulation).
- Wear gloves to keep the hands warm. (The use of so-called anti-vibration gloves is not recommended. In most cases they have little or no effect on vibration transmitted to the hand, and in some cases can make matters worse.)
The damage caused by exposure to too much vibration is permanent, debilitating, can affect your personal life and could end your career.