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The NIOSH review of hand-arm vibration syndrome: vigilance is crucial.
Bernard B; Nelson N; Estill CF; Fine L
J Occup Environ Med 1998 Sep; 40(9):780-785
Editorial Response. There is strong epidemiologic evidence that high-level exposure to vibration is associated with the vascular symptoms of hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), our conclusion in Musculoskeletal Disorders and Workplace Factors. The epidemiologic literature consistently shows that one critical factor for development of HAVS is "vibration dose," which is a product of vibration level and exposure time. Also consistently seen is a strong relationship between exposure time and the severity of HAVS. The literature clearly shows that the use of antivibration devices on tools, particularly those on chain saws, have extended the time interval between exposure to vibration and development of symptoms (the latent interval). Hadler (N Hadler's editorial Vibration White Finger Revisited, J Occup Environ Med, Sept. 1998, 40(9):772-779) admits that much has been accomplished in high-exposure occupational groups (such as quarrymen and chain-sawyers) to modify and design new tools, and to control exposure through administrative action, personal protection, and through medical monitoring to reduce the occurrence of HAVS, all of which are the crux of the recommendations found in the NIOSH Criteria for a Recommended Standard on Occupational Exposure to Hand-Arm Vibration. The epidemiologic and clinical data support the conclusion that healthy workers who use vibrating tools can be protected from developing the disabling effects of HAVS.
Vibration; Vibration-disease; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Exposure-levels; Exposure-assessment; Hand-injuries; Hand-protection; Hand-tools
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies, Mail Stop R-10, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226
Issue of Publication
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Page last reviewed: October 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division