Protecting Your Hands with Anti-Vibration Gloves
By: The Working Man
People who use powered hand tool or other work processes that
expose them to constant vibration of their hands and arms over
long periods are vulnerable to several potentially serious health
issues as a consequence, such as Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome
(HAVS), White Finger Syndrome (WFS), Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
(CTS), Whole Body Vibration (WBV), Hypothenar Hammer Syndrome
(HHS), Reynaud Syndrome, RSI and more.
These injuries are often permanently debilitating, causing the
sufferer not only severe pain but inability to do their job or
leisure activities because the loss of dexterity in their hands
or arms. Excessive exposure to vibrating tools can damage nerves,
blood vessels, and muscles. Symptoms of these conditions include
tingling in the fingers, pain in the hands or arms, numbness or
whiteness of the skin, and eventually reduced dexterity.
The conditions caused by excessive vibration are collectively
known as Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, or HAVS. HAVS comprises a
range of long-term damage to fingers or thumbs, hands, wrists, or
entire arms that results from vibration. HAVS can be caused by
working with handheld power tools, hand-guided machinery, or by
holding materials against a moving surface such as a grinder.
Special gloves called "anti-vibration gloves" are used in many
industries to help protect the hands. Such gloves range from
fingerless gloves that pad only the palms of the hands to fully
padded leather shock, vibration and cold-resistant gloves for
workers who do high-vibration work in cold climates.
One highly popular brand of anti-vibration gloves are molded to
be less bulky and to avoid reducing dexterity and comfort. The
outer surface of the gloves is leather or Lycra.
These gloves contain a cushioning product which is placed in the
appropriate areas of the gloves according to their intended
industrial purpose. Such gloves not only dampen the effects of
vibration but help to reduce fatigue and keep the grip strong,
which not only improves the work but increases job site safety.
Some brands also include a wrist wrap which can help to protect
the wrist from injury as well.
Some examples include:
- Lightweight half-finger gloves that cushion the hand while not
reducing finger dexterity.
- Lycra gloves with leather-covered Gelpact pads for protection
of the palm or hand edge, designed primarily for workers who use
- Lightweight gloves made of very supple material over a shock-
absorbing Gelpact palm pad for materials handlers who are
subjected to sharp edges and pointed parts.
- Ultra light mechanic's impact gloves with full finger
protection and special gripping synthetic leather on the palms.
- Full leather gloves with waterproof liners and lined with
Thinsulate(TM) to protect the hands from cold, and molded gel
padding covering the fingers and palm to reduce vibration damage.
If your job involved vibration to your hands and arms, you will
be wise to choose the appropriate anti-vibration gloves and other
anti-vibration materials. Prevention is by far the best cure.
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