Canadian Manufacturing

Power tool vibration puts safety at risk

Why it’s important to check vibration values before buying



—Sponsored article by FEIN Canadian Power Tool Company

Vibration is a key factor buyers shouldn’t overlook when evaluating industrial power tools. Hand power tools with higher than recommended vibration levels can damage employees’ health.

In Europe, there is legislation limiting the exposure time of certain power tools based on their vibration and usage. There are similar standards being adopted for North America.

Health and safety experts have found that over time, exposure to vibrations can cause carpal tunnel syndrome and nerve damage, leading to loss of feeling in the fingers and hands; it also reduces your gripping ability.

According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS), vibration can cause changes in tendons, muscles, bones and joints, and affect the nervous system. These effects are known as hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS).

Power tool suppliers vary in the way they approach and manage vibration in the tools they offer. At FEIN, we stop vibration before it starts, right on the drawing board. Instead of compensating for vibration, FEIN stops or significantly reduces it through a special design of the tool.

Ninety percent of all FEIN power tools, such as compact angle grinders, meet the requirements for continuous industrial use—in some cases on several levels. Only devices such as hammer drills, where the design and motion make it impossible to reduce vibrations within the machine, need additional aids such as anti-vibration gloves for eight hours of continuous use.

Before purchasing power tools, buyers should do their homework and search or ask the power tool manufacturer for their vibration values. Manufacturers offer such information on their web sites. In the case of FEIN, the information can be found at www.fein.com or by sending an email to vibration@fein.de. All the information should be available with each tool manual as well.

Vibration is a very serious issue so it’s wise to get information directly from the manufacturer. It’s the best way to know the data is accurate and reliable. There are different ways of disclosing vibration levels, such as single axis levels or tri-axial levels. FEIN offers tri-axial levels which is a more accurate testament to the effect of the vibrations of a particular tool.

For more information visit www.fein.com/vibration

FEIN has been a world-leading power tool manufacturer for over 140 years. FEIN Canadian Power Tool Company, located in Mississauga, Ont., provides a range of high-quality power tools and accessories. Visit www.fein.ca for more information.

To view more articles on power tools and battery care, see the Technology Showcase.

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