DON’T LOSE THE FEELING!
Constant Vibration causes Long Term Physical Damage by Stealth.
Short Term symptoms being: Tingling Fingers; White (to deep Red) Finger Tips; Pins and Needles in Forearms; Painful aching in Hands and Arms; Irritation and Inflammation in Wrist, Elbow and Shoulder Joints.
Longer Term damage to Nerve endings; Skin Tissue, Muscle and Tendons; Ability to accurately manipulate fingers; Strength to grasp / control objects with hands; Loss of Strength in Arm, Elbow, Shoulder; Chronic pain and Discomfort.
Yes this is unfortunately all true. There is more than 50 years of evidence proving that continuous exposure to harmful levels of Vibratory Shock can cause long term detrimental health effects to your quality of life. In this article I will try to simplify what can be a somewhat complicated topic.
Any of us that have experienced the tingling of fingers after using a motorised or powered tool, will know what the early warning signs are. Because this ‘short term’ discomfort goes away over time, we tend to not worry about it until the next time it happens when working with Vibrating machinery again.
The trouble is that each time we are exposed to these short term high speed pieces of equipment, our bodies are experiencing changes in our blood vessels and consequently our skin and muscle tissue. At first this does not appear to be of a major concern, but over time the accumulated effect (time weighted) of this constant exposure begins to become more apparent.
By the time that we start to notice the physiological discomfort remains long after the exposure to high levels of Vibration has occurred, it is too late to repair the damage done to our bodies system.
The message for users of vibrating work tools, is to take precautionary steps to reduce the amount of exposure by decreasing the Vibration transmission through our bodies.
Vibration is measured in m/s2 (meters per second squared), the International Standards Organisation scientists have been hard at work arriving at a guideline for how much Vibration we can be exposed to in any given day, before causing ill effect to individuals and corrective steps need to be taken; reference AS ISO 5349.1-2013.
One of the most useful pieces of data from these studies is a table providing the amount of exposure per 8 hour day verses the speed / acceleration (vibration magnitude transmitted by the tool) measured in m/s2.
From this table (1); Your daily exposure to vibration is measured by a formula known as an A(8) value. This is the average (A) exposure over an eight-hour (8) day and takes into account the magnitude of the vibration and how long you are exposed to it. The rate of vibration of a tool or piece of machinery is measured in metres (m) per second (s) per second – its movement (acceleration) per second.
The relevant Australian Standard, is adopted from the accepted International Standard ISO 5349.1-2013. This predominately European Standard specifies daily exposure levels at which employers will be required to take action to control risks. These are known as Exposure Action Values (EAVs). The regulations also set out Exposure Limit Values (ELVs). Where these are reached, the employer must prevent further daily exposure.
For hand-arm vibration (HAV), the daily ELV is 5 m/s2 A(8) and the daily EAV is 2.5 m/s2 A(8).
Accurate task at hand Vibration readings can be taken by a mobile sensor being attached to the grip handle of the tool / machinery being operated. The exposure levels can then be calculated as a factor of the Intensity of Vibration (m/s2) and the actual Time Exposed (operation trigger time).
Once again, from the Vibration Exposure table (1), one can see that at 2.5m/s2 exposure an 8 hour Maximum day is the cut off before some form of preventative action must be taken. At 5m/s2 any exposure over 1 hour approaches potentially dangerous levels of Vibration Transmission to the Hand and Arm of the body.
In realising that not everyone (or every company) is in the position to Hire or Purchase the monitoring equipment necessary to take accurate m/s2 readings, there is another alternative, this format is available to calculate the potential exposure and therefore better understand the average m/s2 reading from the reported generic output of each tool type.
From these reported average readings we can continue to use the exposure table (1) by correlating the given m/s2 value against our Vibration exposure time. N.B: It is wise to build into your calculations a 20% uncertainty factor when adopting a stereotypical ‘generic’ measurement of tool types.
Table 2 provides examples of vibration magnitudes measured by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) UK.
It is interesting to note that almost all of the tool types listed and measured by the UK Health and Safety Executive are producing readings of over 5m/s2. This of course means that action needs to be taken to reduce the levels of exposure. Control measures such as changes to engineering controls or work practices; procurement of newer low vibration transmission tools for the task; Potential Cessation of this type of work; or Provision of suitable Vibration Frequency reduction P.P.E.
Recent scientific studies have reported that Vibration Oscillation intensity alters at each specific frequency range. Therefore any tool, dependant on exact force being applied and the corresponding selected material type being worked, can produce different Vibration Transmissions at potentially the same working tool RPM.
Raw material advancement and Manufacturing developments in relating to Vibration Reducing Hand Protection (P.P.E gloves); Are now linking up with laboratories to refine testing and product compound calibration for increased Vibration Frequency reduction. We now have specially developed Frequency Tuned Vibration / Shock absorbing material compounds that work best at calculated frequency ranges.
In fact we now understand that any one specific type of shock absorbing material will not perform well over the complete Vibration Frequency range (80 to 1,000Hz). Meaning that there is no so called “Anti-Vibration” glove that will provide protection across all Tool application outputs. Therefore it is very important for us to know what Frequency in Hertz (Hz) or Revolutions per Minute (RPM) that the Vibratory equipment is operating at, in order to match the correct glove to the task.
Most manufacturers of Power and Impact Tools will have each specific tool data containing the operating Hz and or RPM. From this we can then analyse the exact type of protective material best suited to that tools Vibration Frequency operating range. As an easy reckoner, 300Hz is considered the changeover Frequency between Low and High octave band, and most impact tools and powered garden equipment operate below 300Hz in maximum operation range. N.B: 300Hz = 18,000RPM.
This article is intended as educational opinion, derived from years of associated study and manufacturing partners research on the topic of Vibration Transmission Reduction. Apart from the ISO and EU standards quoted as reference, major acknowledgement and Thanks must go to Safe Work Australia for their 2015 paper on ‘Workplace Exposure to Hand Arm Vibration’, of which the major tables used here are associated. Their full paper on this important topic is able to be viewed at: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/system/files/documents/1703/guidetomeasuringassessinghandarmvibration.pdf
A high-quality pair of safety gloves should offer the first line of defense against a variety of hazards. Not many other occupations require such precise contact work as in electrical trades. PIP Aust, a wholesale glove Designer and Importer has established a partnership with Swedish Specialised Textile glove manufacturers Eureka Safety AB for distribution of their unique Class leading Flame Retardant and Arc Flash glove range.
These close fitting FR / Arc Flash protection gloves provide the highest level Cut Resistance, grip, feel, comfort and sensitivity that has not been possible until now. What this means is that tasks such as commercial switchboard maintenance can be undertaken with a high degree of precise dexterity, improving safety and productivity.
A spokesperson for PIP Aust said “There are many (lower voltage) applications for these new technology High Flash Point protection gloves which to now, have been approached with the traditional 3 glove process or even at times with no gloves at all due to the bulkiness of the 3 glove programme.”
The new Eureka 13-4 HFR /AF gloves are not to take the place of Voltage insulating gloves. More so they can be worn over the High Voltage Rubber glove instead of the traditional Cow or Dear Hide outer rigger glove. This will greatly enhance the Wet Grip and contact control for the wearer.
The gloves can be worn independently for working around deenergized switchboards or equipment where there is a risk assessment probability that contact arc flash could occur. Obviously, these gloves are to be utilized in conjunction with Heat FR / AF resistant Face Visor and appropriate upper torso garment protection coverage.
Classification of Electrical Safety Gloves
By nature of profession, electricians can work either with or around, live electrical currents. In other words, they can be at risk of electrical shock, also known as electrocution. Hands are the closest part of the body to the electrical work zone, so wearing the correct hand protection is of utmost importance.
Furthermore, there are certain design, care, and use guidelines that all electricians should follow to ensure hand protection during electrical work is adequate and in suitable working order.
Electrical safety gloves are classified by the voltage protection level they provide and whether they offer ozone resistance or not. The classification of electrical safety gloves based on their voltage protection levels is the following:
- Class 00 – maximum use voltage of 500 volts AC, proof tested to 2,500 volts AC and 10,000 volts DC
- Class 0 – maximum use voltage of 1,000 volts AC, proof tested to 5,000 volts AC and 20,000 volts DC
- Class 1 – maximum use voltage of 7,500 volts AC, proof tested to 10,000 volts AC and 40,000 volts DC
- Class 2 – maximum use voltage of 17,000 volts AC, proof tested to 20,000 volts AC and 50,000 volts DC
- Class 3 – maximum use voltage of 26,500 volts AC, proof tested to 30,000 volts AC and 60,000 volts DC
- Class 4 – maximum use voltage of 36,000 volts AC, proof tested to 40,000 volts AC and 70,000 volts DC
Maintenance of Electrical Safety Gloves
Remember that you must maintain and keep your work gloves in a safe condition. Plus, before you use your gloves, you should thoroughly inspect them for any contamination debris like moisture, metal particles or damage like pinholes, material (aging) fatigue tears, rips, etc.
What’s more, make sure that your safety gloves are electronically tested every six months. And, if you are using rubber insulating gloves, air testing should be part of your regular inspection.
Now that you have a refresher on electrical insulation gloves and the all new installation / maintenance Eureka Heat FR / AF gloves, you can check out more information at www.pipaus.com to ensure you’re getting ‘protection for life’.
We are all shocked at the devastation that residents and farming communities of our North Queensland neighbours have had to endure in the recent flooding events this February 2019.
To try and assist the best we can P.I.P(Aust) has donated and urgently sent a pallet load of work gloves up to Townsville late last week to help with the flood clean up efforts.
Our regional distributor Hip Pocket Workwear and Safety has informed us that the Townsville S.E.S has been one of the grateful recipients of these high quality safety gloves.
Special thanks go to our business partners: Sadleirs Logistics for their warehouse support in picking and sending;Toll Group for transporting.
Protective Industrial Products (Australia) Pty Ltd.
Are your employees at higher risk of getting cuts? If you answered yes, you need to get in touch with a professional glove supplier, such as PIP Australia to ensure your workers are better protected.
Wearing the right cut-resistant gloves in the workplace is of utmost importance if you want to remain safe and in no danger of getting injured or affected by cuts. There are various factors that can help you determine the type of gloves needed for the job at hand. Therefore, let’s have a look at some useful tips for choosing the right cut-resistant gloves:
- Determine the Level of Cut Resistance Needed
There are different cut-resistant ratings that provide a reference for better matching the most suitable glove to the potential hazard. However, you should bear in mind that purchasing gloves with the highest level of cut resistance doesn’t always mean that your workers will get the highest level of safety, or the correct fit and feel for the task. Getting the appropriate cut resistance level for the job at hand, provides you with the best grip and control at the most appropriate cost. So, let’s have a look at the new ISO 13997 cut resistance levels and the different types of protection they offer:
- Level A – Low Nuisance cuts (material handling, paper cuts)
- Level B – Moderate cut hazards (small parts handling, warehouse, construction, forestry, packaging, general purpose)
- Level C & D – High cut hazards (glass and bottle handling, manufacturing, electrical, dry walling, automotive assembly, roof fixing, metal handling, canning)
- Level E – Extreme cut hazards (sharp metal stamping, automotive, meat processing, metal recycling, milling steel, pulp and paper)
- Level F – Ultra High cut hazards (glass and window manufacturing, metal recycling and fabrication, automotive, sharp metal stamping, butchering, oil and gas, industrial pipe fitting, steel cable handling, sheet metal)
If you need to check specifics of the EN388:2016 levels click here to find out more.
- Consider the Materials Needed
Glove manufacturers use different materials when producing cut-resistant gloves, from cotton to Kevlar. It is important to note that these materials offer different cut resistance levels. For example, Cotton offers almost no protection unless the gloves include a cut-resistant liner. Leather offers more cut resistance compared to cotton, but it isn’t really the right material for cut resistant glove safety.
If you are chasing gloves with high cut and abrasion resistance levels, you should look for gloves made of Kevlar, Dyneema or PolyKor. If you are looking for superior protection, search for gloves made from either of these but with higher cut ratings.
Determine which material or combination will be best suitable for your industry, because all-purpose gloves do not exist. What is best for one workplace might not be the ideal choice for yours.
- Try out Several Styles
Finding the perfect cut-resistant gloves for your company actually might take a bit longer. Why? Even if the gloves are made of the right material and offer the right level of cut resistance, your workers might not feel comfortable wearing them, or they might feel either hot or cold.
Therefore, it is best to get a few different styles and ask your crew to test them. Once the testing period ends, you can provide your workers with the right pair of gloves, ensuring they perform their best at work.
PIP Australia Head Office
Rd, Gnangara WA 6077, Australia
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Telephone: +61 498 225 993