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Understanding vibration injuries at the workplace

Employees in North Carolina might be interested in understanding more about how vibrations at the workplace can cause significant injuries. Exposure over time may lead to injuries that are associated with the hands and arms or an adverse effect on the entire body. Over-exposure to vibrations inflicted on the hands may result in injuries related to carpal tunnel syndrome, or declining performance with grip, dexterity or feelings in the fingers. Whole-body vibrations typically result in a significant degree of lower back pain.

Excessive exposure to vibrations can disrupt the biochemical and biomechanical processes operating at a molecular level in the body. Specifically, the vascular system and nervous system, affecting the body's respiration and mobility, can be significantly impacted by work that involves exposure to vibration on a routine basis. Studies have found that working with power tools that are handheld can lead to reduced blood flow in a worker's extremities.

Researchers are still studying the effects different levels of vibration can have on different parts of the body. Some of the workplace tools that can cause injuries attributable to vibration include sanders, pavement breakers, chipping hammers, grinders, saws, impact drills dental tools and air-powered wrenches. Depending on the work performed and the tools used, the period of latency between the exposure and the onset may range from two to 17 years long. Employees operating paving machines, logging equipment, mining machinery or forklift might be subject to developing a whole-body vibration injury.

People who suffer injuries caused by working conditions might benefit from obtaining legal assistance. Attorneys may be able to investigate the complaint and help injured workers determine whether filing a workers' compensation claim or lawsuit against the employer is more appropriate. Injured workers who have been unable to acquire wage benefits or fair medical coverage might also benefit from contacting a legal professional.

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