A Cross Sectional Study on Hand-arm Vibration Syndrome among a Group of Tree Fellers in a Tropical Environment
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This study aimed to explore the clinical characteristics of hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) in a group of tree fellers in a tropical environment. We examined all tree fellers and selected control subjects in a logging camp of central Sarawak for vibration exposure and presence of HAVS symptoms utilizing vibrotactile perception threshold test (VPT) and cold water provocation test (CWP). None of the subjects reported white finger. The tree fellers reported significantly higher prevalence of finger coldness as compared to the control subjects (OR=10.32, 95%CI=1.21–87.94). A lower finger skin temperature, longer fingernail capillary return time and higher VPT were observed among the tree fellers as compared to the control subjects in all fingers (effect size >0.5). The VPT following CWP of the tree fellers was significantly higher (repeated measures ANOVA <i>p</i>=0.002, partial η<sup>2</sup>=0.196) than the control subject. The A (8) level was associated with finger tingling, numbness and dullness (effect size=0.983) and finger coldness (effect size=0.524) among the tree fellers. Finger coldness and finger tingling, numbness and dullness are important symptoms for HAVS in tropical environment that may indicate vascular and neurological damage due to hand-transmitted vibration exposure.
- Industrial Health
Industrial Health 52(4), 367-376, 2014
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health