Construction works around the world are on the rise – with the aim of economically having structures in place that can aid in development.
The construction works are supported and done by either robots or machines that are operated by human beings. The construction works can include the development of residential apartments, construction of roads, rail system, airports among others. The construction works have effects on humans who work there like vibrations – thus the need of vibration assessments.
Sources of hand and body vibration
Instruments that aid in this type of construction works are handheld or driven by the human operators. Unchecked vibrating hand-held equipment when in constant touch with the operators cause regular exposure to vibrations. The result is several kinds of injuries to arms and hands of the operators or worse still cause permanent damage. Over 300,000 work days are lost to absentees who are not able to perform due to the injuries they have suffered from or possibly permanent damage, thus the need for control. Provision of information, knowledge, and solutions to tackle these problems is vital, as the measures are likely to protect workers from such form of vibrations. 500 million people’s hands and arms are exposed to vibrations in their various places of work, and two million of them are likely to develop the diseases that are linked with the arm and hand vibration due to the nature of work they do. The disorders include:
Impaired blood circulation that is likely to cause vascular complications and vibration induced finger.
Numbness that results from blanching of the affected fingers and parts of the hand neurological and muscular damage.
Reduced grip strength and dexterity caused by tingling in fingers and hands – efficiency and speed of task performance is impaired
Reduced or loss of sensitivity both touch and temperature by hands.
All these are the likely effects and disorders of the hand and arm vibrations that one is expected to suffer from if they are unchecked.
Another problem is the pain and stiffness in hands and joints of the wrists, shoulders and elbows – due to the unchecked exposure to the vibrations during work. This situation calls for the need of having measures that can be employed to analyse and research on the exposure of vibrations – aiding the development of strategies to control vibration. All these should be championed by international bodies and should check them for the safety of those concerned.
Measures put in place to have the vibrations under check
From the above-discussed disorders, it is, therefore, necessary to have the exposures under control. In 2005, July 6th new regulation was put in place to have this under control. Additionally, the regulation includes exposure action value and exposure limit. With the latter aimed at ensuring that once the required levels are reached one is not allowed to work under those adverse conditions. The measures that were introduced included:
Reduce to minimise exposure to harmful levels of vibrations.
Vibration assessments of risks to employees.
Training and provision of information to those who are exposed.
Measures to reduce exposure to be implemented.
Surveillance, when levels have been reached, be provided.
All these measures point to the need of having vibration assessments, for the benefit of those exposed – and for the good of a country to have a healthy nation free from vibration disorders.