European vibration-control standards for power tools aren’t mandated in the U.S., but they do benefit U.S. workers. Sustained vibration from tool use can cause damage to nerves and blood vessels in workers’ hands and arms. Vibration also tends to make muscles tighten up. The tighter you grip the tool, the more vibration gets transmitted to your hands and arms, making injury more likely. Hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS)—the term used in the industry for a range of cumulative trauma disorders caused by vibration—causes blood vessels to collapse and prevents oxygen from reaching tissues.
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