A number of tools are associated with the incidence of Machine Vibration. White finger (Raynaud’s phenomenon of Occupational Origin). The initial symptoms of this injury are a slight tingling or numbness in the fingers and this may pass unnoticed. Later the tips of one or more fingers most exposed to vibration suffer attacks of blanching (whiteness), the attacks being more frequent in cold weather and early in the morning. Attacks of VWF typically last about one hour, ending with a sudden rush of blood to the affected fingers and frequently considerable pain. If prolonged exposure to vibration continues, the fingers may take on a permanent blue-black appearance and, very rarely gangrene of a finger may occur.
These tools include pneumatic hammers and drills, chains saws, pedestal and hand-held portable grinders, Chipping hammers and concrete vibro – thickeners. Machine Vibration exposures from such tools may be reduced by the wearing of gloves, padded at suitable points with absorbent materials.
Certain tools for example chain saws, are available in an anti-vibration form, and design modifications of tools to reduce Machine Vibration level to be the only satisfactory way to combat VWF.
Excessive noise is a hazard in the use of many power tools, particularly pneumatic. Noise should be reduced as far as possible, at the source. Compressors should be of the quit type or at least have sound reducing covers, which should closed when running. Suitable silencers should be fitted to tools, e, g., exhaust mufflers to concrete breakers. OSHA standards on the sound power level of airborne noise should be used. Where persons are exposed to a noise level exceeding 85 decibels, hearing protection must be provided and worn. Compressed air is delivered at high pressure. If it enters the body, it can rupture internal organs and cause death. Any form of horseplay is expressly forbidden under all circumstances.