Learning for Life: Hand-arm vibration

Life Long Learning and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) are the
processes by which professionals, such as nurses, develop and improve their

There are many ways to address CPD: formally, through attending courses,
study days and workshops; or informally, through private study and reflection.
Reading articles in professional journals is a good way of keeping up-to-date
with what is going on in the field of practice, but reflecting and identifying
what you have learned is not always easy.

These questions are designed to help you to identify what you have learned
from studying the article. They will also help you to clarify what you can
apply to practice, what you did not understand and what you need to explore

1. Hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) is a

a) Chronic disorder
b) Acute disease
c) Autoimmune disease
d) Sign of delirium tremens

2. The successful test case in 1997 for HAVS was brought by

a) Construction workers
b) Builders
c) Miners
d) Forestry workers

3. When did Loriga report ‘dead fingers’?

a) 1713
b) 1911
c) 1995
d) 1999

4. What equipment caused ‘dead fingers’?

a) Power drills
b) Guillotines
c) Grinders
d) Pneumatic drills

5. Which of the following systems does HAVS not affect?

a) Gastro-intestinal
b) Vascular
c) Nervous
d) Musculoskeletal

6. Neurological symptoms include

a) Tingling, loss of dexterity, nystagmus
b) Tingling, loss of dexterity, reduced sensitivity
c) Nystagmus, loss of dexterity, reduced sensitivity
d) Tingling, nystagmus, reduced sensitivity

7. Workers employed in cold working areas may experience

a) Cyanosis
b) Respiratory problems
c) Blanching of the fingers
d) Shivering

8. Injuries and work-related ill health costs industry how much per

a) £300,000
b) £3bn
c) £3m
d) £3,000

9. What two factors need to be calculated in order to recommend a safe
exposure limit?

a) Magnitude & length of exposure
b) Magnitude & force
c) Length of exposure and force
d) Length of exposure and grip

10. What two factors aggravate HAVS?

a) Smoking and heat
b) Heat and diet
c) Cold and diet
d) Smoking and cold


1) a – Although Raynauds is a chronic disease and HAVS is also a
‘Raynauds phenomenon’- and now classed as a form of secondary Raynauds – it is
worth undertaking a literature search and reading up about this disease and
clarifying how HAVS fits into the syndrome. 2) c – The test case was
bought by the miners but all the occupations listed have known links with HAVS.
Can you think of other occupations? 3) b 4) d 5) a 6) b – Nystagmus is
not found in HAVS or Raynauds. It is a eye condition that causes rapid and
jerky eye movements. Once upon a time, it was a disease of miners, but not
today. 7) c – Working in the cold may cause any of the answers but with HAVS, c
is very noticeable. Make notes on the things you can do to support a worker
with HAVS problems who may suffer in the cold weather. 8) b 9) a – The
recent EU Directive 2002/44/ec requires member states to implement safe
exposure limits. Look at the resources page for further information and explore
this area further. 10) d

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