Hand arm vibrations syndrome (HAVS) is caused by the repeated use of hand held vibrating tools or vibrating machinery over a sustained period of time. Manual workers that are in the engineering, steel or mining industries are particularly susceptible to HAVS due to the propensity of vibrating tool use in the workplace.
Factors that can cause a worker to be at risk of developing a hand arm vibration syndrome condition are –
- How long a worker has been using the vibrating equipment
- How high the levels of vibration that the worker has been subject to
- The type of equipment that has been used and the mechanism for holding the equipment
- The conditions in which a person has to work i.e. heat or cold, dry or wet
- How tightly the piece of machinery needs to be gripped in order to perform the job
- The general heath of the worker and whether they take beta blockers or are smokers (smoking has been shown to adversely affect the circulatory system)
All of the above are factors that need to be addressed with regards to possible causal factors in developing HAVS.