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Top Tactics to Prevent Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome While Welding

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HAVS is a disabling occupational injury that welders suffer from. Since Hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) is caused by vibrations produced by welding equipment, experienced welders use correct and effective welding techniques to keep the condition at bay. However, since rookie welders are still learning the tools of the trade, then they are more likely to suffer from HAVS. As a newbie, HAVS will disrupt the normal functioning of your hand, consequently exposing you to accidents. That said, there are precautions that rookie welders can take to eliminate the occurrence of Hand and Arm Vibration Syndrome. Read on to find out more.  

Limit Exposure Time -- As mentioned in the introduction, HAVS is caused by the vibration action of welding equipment. Therefore, it makes sense that reducing exposure when welding reduces the chances of acquiring HAVS. It works by short exposure periods when welding to allow a welder to maintain a steady arm and hand. Although rookie welders that use the technique get ridiculed by experienced welders, HAVS is no light matter. Notably, making your hands as steady as possible allows you to make accurate welds thus reducing vibration time. Consequently, you avoid tingling in the fingers, insensitivity to temperature changes, and pain.   

Trigger Time -- How long does it take you to make the welding machine operational from the time you depress the trigger? If it takes you longer than is necessary, then you are exposing yourself to HAVS. Ideally, you should take as little time as possible between the time you press the equipment's trigger and the time you make it operational. Additionally, the longer you squeeze the trigger, the more you expose your hands to vibrations and consequently, HAVS. It is vital to try as much as possible to reduce the amount of time you squeeze the equipment's trigger. Investing in a locking trigger helps in this regard since it eliminates the need to grasp and press on the trigger repetitively.   

Use Less Force -- Another condition that exacerbates the risk of HAVS is the amount of force you exert on the surface you are welding. The higher the amount of force you use, the higher the intensity of the vibrations. By pressing the welding electrode lightly onto the area you want to weld, you prevent your hand from acting as a shock absorber. That is why rookie welders are advised to replace electrodes once they have used about three-quarters of the electrode length. It helps to prevent pressing the wire harder on the welded surface.

For more information on welding, contact a welder.