June 2014

VIBRATORY TOOLS AND INJURY (PART II)

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Shipowners are very lax in limiting worker's exposure to the use of vibratory tools. In most all cases the manufacturers of vibratory tools will set forth recommendations in their product manuals for maximum daily use. Seldom do shipowners post this information or follow the recommendations. By failing to do so, they expose themselves to liability for injuries related to the use of these tools. Users should be sure to inquire about these manuals to avoid over use of the tool and the resulting injuries. Generally, use should be limited to one hour to an hour and a half per day or less as recommended.

QUESTION FROM THE BRIDGE

I have suffered numbness and tingling off and on from using a pneumatic scaler for years aboard ship. What kind of permanent harm can be caused by these tools?
Fred B., Reno, NV

Answer:
Fred,
The answer is a complicated one from a medical standpoint. One of the most common problems arising from vibratory tools is carpal tunnel syndrome, or "CTS". This condition often requires surgical intervention. At the very least, you must avoid any further use of vibratory tools.

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