Turner Access Higher Safety Total Access
Total Access Ethentic Chipmunk Data
Chipmunk Data Turner Access Ethentic

VIEWS ON HAND ARM VIBRATION AND GLOVES

Supplier suggests no easy answers on vibration gloves

Readers may be interested in the article below which was originally appeared in the November 2014 issue of US Journal Occupational Health & Safety.

The author Jennifer Choi (jennifer@cestusline.com) is vice president of Cestusline, Inc. based in Portland Oregon and is a glove manufacturer “committed to setting a new threshold in industrial hand protection”.

“Anti-vibration gloves are a hot topic in industrial safety, but the development of the industry surrounding it has been around since the symptoms of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) were first diagnosed in 1911.

There are roughly 1.5 million to 2 million U.S. workers who are regularly exposed to hand-arm vibration (HAV) through regular use of pneumatic, hydraulic, electrical, or gasoline-powered hand tools as a part of their jobs. This regular exposure often leads to the incurable, irreversible HAVS, originally called Raynaud’s Phenomenon or Vibration White Finger. It happens so often, in fact, that the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine has predicted 50 percent of exposed workers will develop symptoms.

Common symptoms of HAVS include blanching of fingers, spasms, numbness, and loss of coordination and dexterity. These symptoms are exacerbated by cold temperatures and can culminate in attacks that can last between five and 15 minutes. This progressively debilitating condition can disable workers over time and even lead to amputation.

Anti-vibration gloves aim to absorb and dampen the vibrations emitted by these tools that can affect the central nervous system long term. There are several variations of these gloves in the marketplace today that use different methods of reducing sonic repetitive injury, ranging from simple foam padding to air pockets and gels. The effectiveness of these materials varies by glove manufacturer as much as it does by material.

Vibration Glove Testing

In an effort to protect workers on job sites around the world and create a uniform playing field, the PPE industry has made inroads in developing a suitable vibration-reducing glove testing standard that measures a glove’s ability to help dampen a portion of the vibrations unavoidably transmitted by impact and power tools. The ANSI S2.73/ISO 10819 tests have been both a blessing and a curse to both the manufacturing and end user sides.

Changes in the Anti-Vibration Glove Testing Standard: ISO 10819 in 2013 were not highly publicized and made adjustments to the way the handle and adapter readings were calibrated and measured from the original 1996 standard. ISO 10819 aims to gauge the vibration transmissibility of a glove with a vibration-reducing material that covers the palm, fingers, and thumb of the hand.

The basic setup of this test involves a person wearing a glove gripping a vibrating handle with load cells to gauge the transmissibility of the vibrations through the glove. An “anti-vibration glove” must not amplify the vibration in the medium frequency range (1.5Hz to 200Hz); in the high frequency range (200Hz to 1250 Hz), the glove must reduce the frequency weighted vibration by at least 40 percent.

The most accurate method to determine the actual vibration magnitude exposure of workers is to perform on-site vibration analysis, which can vary significantly from the values declared by the tool manufacturers. In-use vibration, where the operator is using a tool in a real work situation in a specific workplace, depends not only on the vibration produced by the tool, but also on many other variables, such as the condition and quality of the inserted tool, type of product, the state of maintenance of the power tool, the design of the process, the worker’s posture and technique, etc. Multiple tests should be performed accounting for all variables, and an average of these tests should be used as the vibration value.

In independent study funded by the U.S. Navy, researchers found while many gloves that were submitted for testing passed vibration transmissibility criteria specified by the standard, none of them could be classified as an AV glove because none of the gloves could meet the standard’s criterion for the thickness of the glove fingers.

Applications where workers must maintain a steady grip on a potentially dangerous power tool are relatively ignored by the standard that requires gloves to maintain a uniform thickness of vibration-dampening material between the thumb and finger as in the palm. The resultant lack of dexterity has many glove makers scratching their heads. “We were floored by the requirements of the vibration standard,” said Elli Choi, president of Cestus Gloves. “Our company motto, ‘Work in Comfort’ was really stretched to the limit by the standard’s requirement of anti-vibration material in the saddle of the glove. Luckily, we were able to overcome the design obstacle, but it was no easy feat.”

Dexterity and flexibility are top-rated concerns of any end user or safety manager. They know flexible, ergonomic gloves reduce hand strain, and industrial accidents directly related to hand strain and hand fatigue can often have serious consequences. Lamar Hutchinson, a seasoned safety consultant for the oil industry in Louisiana, reported, “Many injuries occur towards the end of the shifts, when workers let their guard down. Add fatigue and muscle strain, and you see the severity of incidents spike.” He added, “Fatigue is a difficult thing to measure, but the consequences of repetitive injuries make a noticeable impact on our experience ratio.”

To control the risk of HAVS, you have only two possibilities: Lower the vibration value or decrease the exposure time. Time can be reduced by changing to a more efficient process or by introducing job rotation. Modern tools with vibration control are in many cases more efficient and often show considerably lower vibration values. Paired with vibration-reducing gloves, the exposure to HAV transmission is lowered even further.

Anti-vibration gloves will continue to evolve as the industry develops new, engineered component materials. The use of AV gloves as part of a comprehensive ergonomic safety program, including job duty rotation, will hopefully start a downward trend of HAVS injuries on the work site. Trialing the gloves on the work site will give your team the best estimation of their ability to balance vibration reduction with dexterity and grip control.

HSE advice on gloves and warm clothing

In the UK current advice from HSE regarding gloves and HAVs is reproduced below:

“Gloves marketed as ‘anti-vibration’, which aim to isolate the wearer’s hands from the effects of vibration, are available commercially. There are several different types, but many are only suitable for certain tasks, they are not particularly effective at reducing the frequency-weighted vibration associated with risk of HAVS and they can increase the vibration at some frequencies. It is not usually possible to assess the vibration reduction provided in use by anti-vibration gloves, so you should not generally rely on them to provide protection from vibration. However, gloves and other warm clothing can be useful to protect vibration-exposed workers from cold, helping to maintain circulation.

Low hand or body temperature increases the risk of finger blanching because of the reduced blood circulation. You should therefore make sure employees working outdoors in cold weather have adequate protection. The temperature in an indoor workplace should provide reasonable comfort without the need for special clothing and should normally be at least 16 °C. If this is not reasonably practicable, you should provide warm clothing and gloves.(More than one set may be required for each employee if the gloves or clothing are likely to become wet.) Gloves and other clothing should be assessed for good fit and for effectiveness in keeping the hands and body warm and dry in the working environment. You should also ensure that gloves or other clothing you provide do not stop employees working safely and do not present a risk of entanglement with moving parts of machinery.”

Latest Construction Health and Safety News

SOLE TRADER PRISON SENTENCE OVER ROOF FALL

Fall through fragile rooflight caused by poor planning and assessment

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 24th November 2017

MAJOR SUPPLIER FINED £1.2M OVER DRIVER DEATH

Delivery driver crushed by overloaded FLT at supplier factory premises

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 23rd November 2017

SOLAR PANEL BOSS SENTENCED WITH COMPANY

Director and company given hefty sentences over worker fall

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 22nd November 2017

BUSINESS LEFT LEGIONELLA RISK UNCONTROLLED

Effective management arrangements missing for tunnel wash

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 22nd November 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 22nd NOV 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 22nd November 2017

PRICE RISES FOR THOSE IGNORING HSE NOTICES

Contractor given jail term after scaffolding prohibition issued

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 22nd November 2017

UPDATED GUIDANCE ON EXCAVATORS USED AS CRANES

Plant Forum stresses excavators should not be ‘first choice’ for lifting

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 22nd November 2017

LORRY SHEETING ARRANGEMENTS PROVED FATAL

Driver fell 4m to death during unsafe un-sheeting of lorry

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 16th November 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 15th NOV 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 16th November 2017

NEW CPA GUIDANCE ON FORWARD TIPPING DUMPERS

Industry aims to help prevent overturns and collision with workers

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 13th November 2017

DEMOLITION WORKER LOST BALANCE IN FATAL FALL

Lack of measures in place to prevent fall from mezzanine floor

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 13th November 2017

GROUNDWORKER SET ON FIRE BY CABLE STRIKE

RAMS requirement for underground service checks not followed

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 13th November 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 8th NOV 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 9th November 2017

RARE SUPPLIER PROSECUTION OVER FATAL CRUSHING

Vehicle manufacturer design and unsafe user practice caused death

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 9th November 2017

ASBESTOS SURVEY FAILED TO COVER ALL WORK AREAS

Utilities firm fined after electricians exposed to drilled asbestos

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 8th November 2017

METAL GRID FELL FROM FLT DURING PAINTING

Steel fabricator could have used sling to safely suspend grids

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th November 2017

DRIVER ESCAPES WITH LIFE AFTER POWER STRIKE

Director given suspended sentence over lorry 132kV line contact

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th November 2017

SCAFFOLDER FELL ON TEMPORARY ROOF WORKS

Injured workman lacked training and fall arrest equipment

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th November 2017

FALLING CONTROL PANEL CRUSHED WORKMAN

Planning lacking on how to safely move heavy electrical equipment

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th November 2017

POWER DOOR INSTALLER JAILED FOR THREE YEARS

Falling electrically powered gate claimed life of resident

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 3rd November 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 2nd NOV 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 2nd November 2017

STEEL FIRM REMOVED BAND SAW SAFETY GUARD

Leg of worker crushed in the vice of an industrial band saw

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 2nd November 2017

WORKMAN FELL AFTER RAIL REMOVED FOR ACCESS

Small builder failed to allow for missing guard-rail

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 2nd November 2017

FINES RISE RAPIDLY ALONGSIDE HARM TO HEALTH

hselogo1HSE confirm lowest number of construction fatalities on record

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 2nd November 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE OCT 25th 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 25th October 2017
Turner Access Chipmunk Data
Total Access Ethentic
Higher Safety Turner Access