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Hand-arm vibration is transmitted from construction work activity into the hands and arms when:

  • using hand held power tools, such as road breakers; 
  • using hand guided equipment such as a vibrating compactor; 
  • holding materials being processes by a machine. 

Construction workers are more likely to suffer permanent harm if contact with vibration is a regular and frequent part of their job.

Hand-arm vibration can cause a range of conditions called hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS).

The best known is vibration white finger (VWF), but vibration also links to specific diseases such as carpal tunnel. 




The symptoms include any combination of:


  • tingling and numbness in the fingers
  • not being able to feel things properly 
  • loss of strength in the hands 
  • fingers going white (blanching) and becoming red and painful on recovery. 
Effects of these symtoms
  • pain, distress and disturbed sleep;
  • inability to do work or everyday tasks; 
  • reduced ability to work in cold or damp conditions; 
  • reduced grip strength.

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