What is Vibration and Temperature?
Vibration is the transfer of energy to the body from an external source causing an oscillating motion. Combining temperature and vibration greatly increases the potential of injury to the body’s tendons, muscles, joints and nerves.
Workers who are exposed to vibration may not even realize their injuries and it can may take years to first appear. It is important to understand that vibration is a cumulative risk factor. When it is combined with intensity, duration and temperature the risk of injury increasing dramatically.
What are some of the hazards associated with Vibration and Temperature?
Linking injuries to vibration can be difficult so it is important to acknowledge that so many different types of tools and equipment will cause vibration. You will not be able to eliminate the vibration, but will have the potential to mitigate the magnitude you are exposed too.
Working in extreme hot or cold temperatures can result in illness and injury.
· Heat stroke
· Heat exhaustion
· Heat cramps
· Heat rash
· Trench foot
Here are some of the common risks related to vibration and temperature.
- Whole Body Vibration – Vibration is transmitted to the body through the legs and buttocks. This is caused by sitting or standing on a piece of vibrating equipment.
- Hand-Arm Vibration – This is vibration transmitted to the body through the hands and arms. This type of vibration can be experience by the use of hand tools.
- Cold weather work leading to a loss of flexibility in muscles, tendons, ligaments, reduced blood flow circulation and a reduced sense of touch in the extremities.
- Hot weather work leads to increased rate of dehydration which decreases endurance and increases fatigue.
- Awkward body positioning to maintain control of power tools.
How Can I Reduce the Risk of an Injury?
Here are some tips to working safely and preventing an injury from occurring.
- Whole Body Vibration Mitigation
Avoid sitting for prolonged periods on a vibrating surface by breaking up driving / operating tasks or incorporating job rotation.
- Hand-Arm Vibration Mitigation
Keep tools well maintained and keep cutting and drilling tools sharp to reduce vibration and force.
- Monitor the weather very closely and dress appropriately. Take frequent breaks, incorporate job rotations and warm up before continuing the task.
- Monitor the weather very closely and dress appropriately. Take frequent breaks, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and incorporate job rotations.
- Use proper work posture and set up the work area to accommodate the worker.