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Heavy vibrations in workplace can result in injuries

Vibration injuries in the workplace can be aggravating to Oklahoma workers who may not know the extent to which the vibrations harm their bodies. When a worker is exposed to repeated heavy vibrations over long periods of time, it can result in physical injuries that could require medical attention.

These injuries generally fall into two categories: hand-arm, which can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome and other ergonomic issues, and whole body, which can cause high levels of lower back pain. The Journal of the American Medical Association says that this is a leading cause of lost time and lower production output in the workplace.

In the past, use of handheld power tools has resulted in a condition known as Vibration White Finger Disease that was sometimes so severe, fingers had to be amputated. Excessive vibrations interfere with vascular and nervous systems, resulting in workers' injuries, as oxygen and nutrients cannot be carried through the blood to the cells in arms and legs. When this happens, cells and tissues typically die.

Oklahomans who suffer injuries on the job caused by excessive vibrations may qualify for a claim through the state's workers' compensation program. Workplace injuries do not have to be accidents for coverage under this program; injuries and illnesses that build up over time also may be covered. However, there must be substantial proof that the illness or injury occurred either on site or while performing a work-related task. Benefits to injured workers usually include aid for medical expenses and lost wages. Should any complications during the filing process arise, an attorney might be able to assist.

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