Vibration Linked to Raynaud’s Syndrome in Employees-August 2008

Monthly Round Up of Important Ideas and Standards in
Industrial Hygiene and Safety 

August 2008

IN THIS ISSUE: Vibration Linked to Raynaud’s Syndrome in Employees

The use of hand tools that vibrate can damage the nerves in the hand and arm causing Raynaud’s syndrome to develop over time.  Raynaud’s syndrome occurs when circulation becomes impaired in the fingers and hand that hold the vibrating tool.  When exposed to cold, the fingers become white and lack sensation.  In addition to Raynaud’s syndrome, vibration can also cause changes in the tendons, muscles, bones, and joints.  

“Recognition of vibration illness is gradual and increases over time,” explains Gary R. Ticker, CIH, CSP, of OccuSafe, Inc, “In fact, diagnosis often takes months or even years.”

Recent studies about Raynaud’s syndrome have shown a correlation between noise exposure and vibration exposure.

“We now know that employees with Raynaud’s syndrome have greater hearing losses,” Ticker explains, “By reducing the noise exposure, vibration is also lessened.”

In addition to noise reduction, there are a number of things that an employer can do to lessen the effects of vibration. 

  • Conduct regular, scheduled maintenance, on all vibrating hand tools. Tools in poor condition tend to vibrate more.
  • Install cushioned grips. Direct contact between the hand and metal increases the effect of vibration.
  • Train employees to minimize grip pressure and to recognize and control of hand and arm vibration.

 For more information on this topic and to discuss your company’s safety and industrial hygiene needs call OccuSafe at (214) 662-6005 or visit us at

OccuSafe Environmental and Safety, Inc. provides skills and expertise to recognize, evaluate and control hazards and injuries in the areas of industrial hygiene, occupational safety and health.   OccuSafe services companies of all sizes in a range of industries.


This newsletter is published monthly by OccuSafe Environmental and Safety Services, Inc.   Feel free to forward it to friends and colleagues.


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