The Dangers of Vibrations for Construction Workers
The vibrations from power tools can have a serious long-term effect on the health of construction workers, and with roughly 3,000 new claims for Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit being made a year, it is a situation which should be monitored carefully to prevent further unnecessary health conditions being developed because of vibrations.
Concrete Drilling Services take the safety of our employees and the general public very seriously, which is why we recommend that you employ the services of a professional to minimise the risk of harm to yourself and ensure that your project is completed safely and to a high standard.
Who is at risk?
Anyone in the construction industry is at risk from the vibrations of power tools, but it is those who frequently operate hand-held or hand-guided power tools or hold materials being processed by a machine who are most at risk. In particular, operating hammer action tools for more than 15 minutes a day or rotary tools for more than one hour a day makes you very susceptible to the conditions associated with vibrations. Machinery and tools that put workers at risk include:
- Concrete breakers, poker and compactors
- Sanders, grinders and disc cutters
- Hammer drills
- Chipping hammers
- Scabblers or needle guns
Related injuries and health conditions
Some of the more serious risks to health that come with consistent exposure to vibration include:
- Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome: damage to the muscles, joints, circulation or nerves in the hand and arms
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: weakness of the hands and a numbness or tingling feeling
- Vibration White Finger: damage to circulation in the fingers which causes the fingers to numb and blanch. During an attack, which can be triggered by the cold and exposure to vibration, the fingers can become extremely painful.
These conditions can reduce grip strength as well as making fiddly tasks nearly impossible due to the reduced sense of touch.
Whole-Body Vibrations is also a risk to anyone sitting, standing or lying on a vibrating surface
Reducing the risk of vibration-related injuries
The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 act means that employers have to ensure their employees don’t exceed the set limits of exposure acceptable over an eight hour period, but there are some other steps individuals can take to limit their exposure to harmful vibrations:
- Use the lowest setting on machinery on power tools
- Implement task rotation
- Grip the tool lightly, as a tight grip increases the effects of the vibrations
- Only use well-maintained tools
- Make sure cutting tools are sharpened to make them more effective, and thereby reduce the time you are in contact with the vibrations
- Massage and exercise your fingers throughout the day
- Wear gloves to keep your hands warm and your circulation good
Diamond drilling is a great alternative to normal drilling as the high-tech machinery and incredibly strong material means workers will experience fewer shakes whilst drilling.
Operating across Bolton, Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds, look no further than Concrete Drilling Services for a skilled and experienced service. We have over 30 years of experience in our field and cover all types of projects including:
For more information on our services, get in contact with one of our friendly advisors today.