Hazard Related Topics
Many jobs in construction involve the use of hand held power tools such as pneumatic breakers and disk grinders. The vibration from such equipment can effect the fingers, hands and arms and, in the long term, cause permanent damage such as white, numb fingers and loss of touch.
Employers have a duty to assess the potential risk from vibration. This can be done by examining and identifying those tools likely to present the risk and by examining suppliers information on their tools.
Where possible choose low vibration tools. Examine the possibility of carrying out the task without using such tools eg use a hydraulic crusher to break a concrete beam instead of spending a long time using hand held breakers.
It is important to maintain equipment so that it is properly balanced, has no loose or worn out parts and blades and cutters are sharp.
Organise work breaks to avoid long periods of uninterrupted vibration exposure.
Workers should be trained to guard against the effects of vibration by keeping their hands warm so that there is good circulation of blood to their fingers. This can be helped by wearing gloves, taking hot drinks or food and by massaging the fingers.
The choice of piling method must be affected by the proximity of the works to other structures, installations or equipment. The vibration set up during piling operations must not be allowed to put the stability of such structures at risk.