This syndrome goes by different names like “white finger” or “dead finger”, but the technical term for it is “hand-arm vibration syndrome” or HAVS. You’ll know you’re experiencing this syndrome if you have loss of color in your hands and tingling in your fingers. Before we go any further, you should know that if you experience any HAVS symptoms, it is likely indicating a larger problem and you should go to your doctor.
HAVS develops over a long period of time with consistent use of vibrating tools and machinery. What actually happens when HAVS sets in is that the blood vessels in your fingers and hands begin to collapse causing muscle and skin tissue not to receive enough oxygen which in turn means that tissue will die. Thus, you experience numbness.
Aside from other biological and genetic causes, the main cause of finger tingling that we’ll point out today has to do with mechanical tools. Pneumatic pour tools that operate between the frequencies of 50 and 300 Hz are the greatest risk for someone developing HAVS.
One of the best ways to prevent this type of damage from happening to you is to make sure that you use vibration-dampening work gloves and if possible, switch to using machinery that transmits less vibration. However, keep in mind as you consider new equipment, that using a machine that vibrates less for an extended period of time is no better than using a highly vibrating machine for a short time.
In addition to wearing vibration mitigating work gloves, you and any employees should be sure to maintain machinery, alternate between tasks to give your body a rest, and limit use of vibrating tools.