Research Article: The Efficacy of Anti-vibration Gloves

Date Published: February 3, 2016

Publisher: Springer Singapore

Author(s): Sue Hewitt, Ren Dong, Tom McDowell, Daniel Welcome.

http://doi.org/10.1007/s40857-015-0040-5

Abstract

Anyone seeking to control the risks from vibration transmitted to the hands and arms may contemplate the use of anti-vibration gloves. To make an informed decision about any type of personal protective equipment, it is necessary to have performance data that allow the degree of protection to be estimated. The information provided with an anti-vibration glove may not be easy to understand without some background knowledge of how gloves are tested and does not provide any clear route for estimating likely protection. Some of the factors that influence the potential efficacy of an anti-vibration glove include how risks from hand–arm vibration exposure are assessed, how the standard test for a glove is carried out, the frequency range and direction of the vibration for which protection is sought, how much hand contact force or pressure is applied and the physical limitations due to glove material and construction. This paper reviews some of the background issues that are useful for potential purchasers of anti-vibration gloves. Ultimately, anti-vibration gloves cannot be relied on to provide sufficient and consistent protection to the wearer and before their use is contemplated all other available means of vibration control ought first to be implemented.

Partial Text

The connection between use of vibrating power tools and the associated health effects referred to as hand–arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) has been known for around a century. In the modern workplace, health effects associated with power tool use are still commonly reported and there are hundreds of new cases reported every year in the UK [1]. When attempting to manage exposure to hand–arm vibration in the workplace, and having exhausted all the other possible approaches to managing the problem, the question of personal protective equipment (PPE) will inevitably arise. Anti-vibration gloves are available, which are typically made from materials such as resilient gel, foam or rubber-like material or an array of air bladders. This paper considers the issues that surround the selection and use of anti-vibration gloves as PPE for hand–arm vibration.

The international standard for measurement and assessment of exposure to hand–arm vibration is ISO 5349:2001, parts 1 and 2 [3, 4]. These standards define how the vibration to which an individual is exposed is measured and evaluated in terms of the frequency-weighted vibration total value at or near to the gripping zone. The hand–arm frequency weighting defined in ISO 5349-1:2001 is shown in Fig. 1.Fig. 1ISO 5349-1:2001 [3] hand–arm frequency weighting, documentclass[12pt]{minimal}
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The current international standard that should be applied to a glove before it can be marketed as an anti-vibration glove is ISO 10819:2013 [7]. The test described in this standard involves applying a defined signal to a vibrating handle and then measuring how much of that vibration is transmitted through the glove to the palm of the wearer. To achieve this, the vibration is measured simultaneously on the surface of the handle and in the palm of the hand using an adaptor. This enables the vibration transmitted through the glove to be calculated. The test uses a band-limited random vibration signal. The vibration magnitude used for the test is defined in all the one-third octave frequency bands from 25 to 1600 Hz. This range is selected based on the possible effective frequency of anti-vibration gloves and the frequency range of concern for hand–arm vibration exposure defined in ISO 5349-1:2001. The values that are produced by application of the test are referred to as transmissibilities. The transmissibility values are calculated using hand–arm frequency-weighted vibration magnitudes to determine whether the glove reduces the vibration that is transmitted to the wearer. When the overall results of the glove transmissibility measurements are calculated, they are expressed as two values:documentclass[12pt]{minimal}
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begin{document}$$bar{T}_{(mathrm{M})},$$end{document}T¯(M), the average result from the 25 Hz one-third octave band to the 200 Hz one-third octave band anddocumentclass[12pt]{minimal}
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begin{document}$$bar{T}_{(mathrm{H})},$$end{document}T¯(H), the average result from the 200 Hz one-third octave band to the 1250 Hz one-third octave band.A transmissibility of 1.0 means that all of the vibration is transmitted through the glove material to the wearer. If the transmissibility is less than 1.0, it indicates that the glove is reducing the amount of vibration that is being transmitted. If the transmissibility is more than 1.0, it indicates that the glove is amplifying the vibration.Fig. 3Example transmissibilities of an air bladder glove at the palm (from Dong and colleagues [9])

There are many factors that influence the measured transmissibility of an anti-vibration glove and the potential that a glove has to provide protection to the wearer. These factors include the effect of different directions and different frequencies of vibration and how they interact, the differences in transmissibility between the palm and the finger, and the variations due to different forces applied to the glove and due to different physical characteristics of the wearers. Anti-vibration gloves can reduce vibration components at very high frequencies documentclass[12pt]{minimal}
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begin{document}$$({ge }500,mathrm{Hz}),$$end{document}(≥500Hz), especially when a low hand coupling force is applied. However, the hand–arm frequency weighting defined in ISO 5349-1:2001 required to evaluate the exposure for risk assessment restricts the measured efficacy of an anti-vibration glove.

 

Source:

http://doi.org/10.1007/s40857-015-0040-5

 

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