Protective gloves are commonly found in all kinds of workplaces, with a range of purposes, from keeping hands warm to protecting against cuts. When working with vibrating machinery or power tools however, anti-vibration gloves are the key to keeping safe.
A Guide To Anti-Vibration Gloves
Why wear anti-vibration gloves?Vibrations from machinery can result in workers suffering damage to their nerves, muscles, tendons, bones and blood vessels. Over time, this can increase their risk of developing injuries including carpal tunnel syndrome and hand-arm vibration syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a neurological condition which results in symptoms such as numbness, aching or weakness in the hand and fingers. Meanwhile, hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) injuries can be divided into three different categories, including:
- - Neurological injuries – Starting with numbness or tingling in the fingers, in time this can lead to irreversible damage and even disability.
- - Vascular injuries – These injuries cause the small blood vessels in the hand and fingers to constrict, causing the fingers to become numb and turn white. For this reason, the condition is also known as ‘vibration-induced white fingers’.
- Musculoskeletal injuries – This may take a few different forms, from arthritis and tendonitis to changes in muscle fibres.
How to reduce the risk of vibration
A variety of measures need to be taken to reduce the risk of injury from vibration, including:
- - Limiting the number of time employees spend being exposed to vibration. That means that time spent using high-vibration machinery should take regular breaks.
- - Providing employees with protective clothing, such as anti-vibration gloves, to prevent machinery from causing damage.
- - Selecting suitable equipment, such as low vibration tools, wherever possible.
Take a look at the HSE website for further guidance on controlling the risk of vibration.
Who needs to use anti-vibration gloves?
Anti-vibration gloves should be worn by anyone who needs to handle vibrating tools or machinery. This may include workers in industries such as:
- - Construction
- - Engineering
- - Quarrying
- - Agriculture
- - Auto repair
However, this is not an exhaustive list of the types of workers who should be wearing anti-vibration gloves and employers should be proactive in providing suitable protective gloves for employees.
With such serious health problems caused by exposure to vibration, employers have a legal responsibility to ensure workers are properly protected. The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 were put into place to protect workers from vibration and must be adhered to by employers. They outline the exposure to vibration at which point employers should implement protective initiatives such as providing anti-vibration gloves and what the legal exposure limits are. For hand-arm vibration, the daily exposure action value (the point at which employers should take action) is 2.5 m/s2 and the daily limit is 5 m/s2. For full body vibration, the guidelines are set much lower at 0.5 m/s2 for action to be taken and 1.15 m/s2 as a limit. Browse our selection of anti-vibration gloves today, or explore our full range of hand protection gloves for a variety of purposes. We offer everything from builders’ grip gloves to protective cut-resistant gloves, so you can find just what you need to protect your whole team, no matter what the risk is.
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