Why study Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome?

Preventable but also irreversible, Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) is a complex occupational disease that can result in numb fingers, decreased hand dexterity and loss of grip strength.

HAVS is a common problem. HAVS has received little attention in Canada and has not been a major focus of clinical activity, research or preventive efforts. Many workers use vibrating tools and the proportion of them who are subsequently affected with HAVS is high and the latency is short. There is little knowledge about the prevention in place and barriers to prevention In the workplace.

Furthermore the effects of HAVS are multisystem in nature including the neurological, musculoskeletal, and vascular systems. This leads to complexity in the diagnosis as the effects in the different systems require careful assessment and there is a lack of consensus about the best diagnostic test battery.