Vibration Injuries at Work
Workplaces can pose various kinds of injury risks depending upon an employee’s job duties and certain hazards on job sites. While you might not immediately think of the potential harms associated with tools that vibrate, vibration injuries are actually much more common — and more debilitating — than you might expect. Indeed, any job tasks or tools that result in exposure to excessive vibration can be dangerous and ultimately may result in serious injuries and disabilities. What do you need to know about vibration injuries at work? Consider the following information from our Pompano Beach workers’ compensation attorneys.
Learning More About Vibration Injuries
What are vibration injuries at work, and how do they happen? According to Occupational Health & Safety magazine, “repeated exposure to high levels of vibration is known to cause injury to workers over time,” and these exposures are classified as “hand-arm and whole-body vibration.” What is the difference between hand-arm and whole-body vibration? As the magazine article clarifies, “hand-arm vibration exposure (HAV), besides being a known contributing factor to carpal tunnel syndrome and other ergonomic-related injuries, causes direct injury to the fingers and hand, affecting feeling, dexterity, and grip.” Differently, with whole-body vibration (WBV) injuries, workers are exposed to high levels of vibration that impact the entire body and can exacerbate existing injuries like lower back injuries.
Most vibration injuries are preventable. According to the National Library of Medicine, the risk of developing many types of vibration-related injuries or diseases is linked to “the duration and intensity of the exposure” to the vibration.
Types of Tools Linked to Workplace Vibration Injuries
What kinds of tools are most commonly linked to vibration injuries? According to Occupational Health & Safety magazine, the following are most commonly associated with workplace vibration injuries based on data from the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH):
- Chipping hammers;
- Pavement breakers;
- Impact drills;
- Air-powered wrenches;
- Dental tools;
- Off-road haulers;
- Mining machinery;
- Logging equipment;
- Paving machines; and
In short, any tool that causes even a small amount of vibration that is used repeatedly and over time can cause vibration injuries, especially hand-arm vibration injuries. Whole-body vibration injuries tend to be linked to the use of large machines that vibrate, from forklifts and off-road haulers to mining and logging machines. Most vibration injuries are avoidable with the use of newer tools that vibrate less, or with less constant exposure over time to vibration levels. It is important for employers to monitor vibration levels and to take into account employee risk. When an employee is diagnosed with a vibration injury, it is important to find out more about seeking workers’ compensation coverage in Florida.
Contact a Pompano Beach Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Do you have questions about seeking workers’ compensation benefits in Florida? Whether your workplace injury resulted from exposure to excessive vibration or due to another hazard on the job, an attorney at our firm can discuss your case with you and can provide you with additional information about seeking benefits. Do not hesitate to get in touch with an experienced Pompano Beach workers’ compensation lawyer at the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. to learn more about how we can assist you.