Many workers are subjected to vibration every day as a normal part of their jobs, and studies have shown that long-term exposure to vibrations can result in injuries that usually occur in the fingers, hand, wrist and lower back. Commonly used tools that have been shown to be known culprits in causing harm include pavement breakers, sanders, chippers, power tools and dental drills.
Workplace injuries that are caused by excessive exposure to vibrations are separated into two categories. Hand-arm vibration syndrome is a condition that may lead to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome and other injuries that affect sensation, grip and flexibility below the elbow. According to a report by Occupational Health & Safety, prolonged exposure can result in a condition call Vibration White Finger Disease that can be severe enough, in some cases, to warrant amputation. Whole body vibration syndrome is a major contributing factor to lower back injuries.
The trauma that stems from exposure to excessive vibration seems to be caused by a decrease in blood flow to the affected areas that results in an insufficient delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues. Severe blood flow restriction can result in tissue death as is seen in White Finger Disease. Nerve endings are also disrupted and can cause diminished sensation and a disruption of dexterity due to damaged sensory perception.
People who have injuries that were caused by using tools and other machinery that emit vibrations may be able to receive compensation for the physical damage that they have incurred and any monetary losses that have resulted from the affliction. A personal injury lawyer can help workers who have been harmed by vibration exposure by either filing a lawsuit or seeking worker’s compensation for injuries that happen on the job.