Hand-held or floor concrete scrabblers are primarily used to prepare masonry or concrete for refinishing. In addition, scrabblers can be used to rough and reduce concrete surfaces, in order to remove coatings and laitance, before application of waterproofing coatings, textured finishes, or other new materials. The operation of concrete scrabblers involves a great deal of vibration.
Effects of vibration
Regular and prolonged use of vibrating equipment like concrete scrabblers may eventually damage muscles, nerves and fine blood vessels within the user’s hands and fingers. This damage constitutes an industrial condition called vibration white finger.
Although sometimes referred to as hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), HAVS is an umbrella term for several related conditions, similar to vibration white finger. Suffers of vibration white finger can experience symptoms including, but not limited to:
- Aches and pain in the hands and fingers
- Cold and white – blanched – fingers
- A tingling sensation in the hands and fingers, sometimes referred to as pins and needles
- Loss of sensation, numbing
- Over time, loss of dexterity may also become an issue
Upper limb disorders
Upper limb disorders (ULDs) such as vibration white finger are forms of repetitive strain injuries, that can be typically caused by prolonged exposure to vibrations, continuous repetitive movement, or working in awkward positions.
Other factors, such as cold working environments, can increase the likelihood of developing vibration white finger or worsen an existing injury. Accidents at work that cause excessive force on the hand can also trigger this work-related condition.
Prevention of vibration white finger
Repetitive stress injuries and vibration induced conditions can be prevented by reducing the length of time workers are expected to operate concrete scrabblers.
Providing workers with protective gloves or pads capable of absorbing vibration, ensuring workers take hourly 10-minute breaks, and sourcing low vibration equipment are three simple ways employers minimise employee health and safety risks.
Workers at risk of suffering work injuries through vibration should also have their health monitored at regular intervals to ensure they are not affected. If onset of vibration white finger is detected, workers should be given alternative tasks, and time off for recovery, if required.
Workers afflicted by occupational illness as a result of work accidents or prolonged exposure to vibration, harmful substances or repetitive movement, may be entitled to work injury compensation.
Call an expert
If you sustained an injury at work, suffer from vibration white finger or any other work related illness, you will need an expert to assist you with your claim for compensation.
Backed by 15 years of claim industry experience, at Accident Advice Helpline we work with the primary aim of ensuring you get the industrial injury compensation you are entitled to.
Give us a call today on 0800 689 0500 to speak to one of our advisers, for more information on your work-related injury compensation claim.
Date Published: March 2, 2015
Author: Accident Advice