Power tools and heavy machinery are key tools on many construction sites. However, the motion of the same tools that allow workers to build more efficiently can also put them at risk of a variety of health conditions over time. What should workers know about the risks of vibration on their job site?
Hand and arm vibrations from tools can lead to serious symptoms.
Any tool that a construction worker uses has the potential to vibrate their hands and arms. Drills, riveters and jackhammers are common sources of vibration that they may use on the job site. The vibration from these tools can lead to tingling, numbness and even permanent damage to the blood vessels in the hands and arms.
The vibration of heavy machinery can also lead to damage over time.
Trucks used to transport materials, forklifts used to lift and move materials across a job site and large construction machinery all vibrate when in operation. The whole-body vibrations that their operators experience can create a number of long-term health concerns.
Whole body vibration can contribute to lower back pain, muscle cramping and sometimes weakness or pain in the neck, shoulders and arms. It may also contribute to a variety of other disorders including cardiovascular conditions. Weakness and pain caused by these conditions can leave worker unable to perform their daily task.
These conditions can have a significant impact on construction workers’ ability to support themselves and their families. If vibrations on a job site have impacted your health, you should explore whether workers’ compensation can offer support for your work-related health concern.