Who is most at risk?
Anyone who works with power tools is at risk, but especially the 16 million people—or about 13% of the U.S. workforce—employed in manufacturing, including transportation maintenance, repair and operations workers, as defined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
"Occupational hearing loss is the most commonly recorded occupational illness in manufacturing (17,700 cases out of 59,100 cases), accounting for 1 in 9 recordable illnesses. More than 72% of these occur among workers in Manufacturing,” states a report1 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "These numbers are particularly disturbing considering that a person’s hearing loss must be determined to be work-related and the hearing loss must be severe enough that the worker has become hearing impaired, in order to be OSHA-recordable. Many more workers would have measurable occupational hearing loss but would not yet have become hearing impaired.” The report goes on to warn, "The rate of hearing loss growth is greatest during the first 10 years of exposure. This means hearing loss prevention is especially important for new workers. However, with continued exposure, the hearing loss spreads into those frequencies most needed to understand speech. This means that preventing occupational hearing loss is also important for workers in their mid and late careers.”
Vibration-related illnesses affecting workers are not new. In fact, some later-stage symptoms, like loss of hearing and "white finger,” have been known since the turn of 20th century, but employers tended to ignore them as just part of the job. Medical evidence and research in support of vibration-protection have been growing for decades. Governments are taking notice and employers are being compelled to face these issues.
Unlike hearing loss, vibration damage can be reversed with proper treatment, but better yet, it can and should be prevented with proper protection. Hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) is the most common set of symptoms that result from using any kind of vibrating tool—from a jackhammer to a dental drill. Longer exposure can increase the risk of developing symptoms. The underlying cause of HAVS is diminished blood circulation to the extremities (specifically fingers). As a result, people who work in cold or damp environments and people who smoke are at an even greater risk of developing HAVS.
|Time to reach 100% noise dose|| Exposure level per NIOSH|
recommended exposure limits
|8 hours||85 dB(A)|
|4 hours||88 dB(A)|
|2 hours||91 dB(A)|
|60 minutes||94 dB(A)|
|30 minutes||97 dB(A)|
|15 minutes||100 dB(A)|
Personal Safety vs. Medical Bills
Unfortunately, not all employers are vigilant against noise and vibration hazards and not many workers are even aware of the dangers before symptoms begin. Vibration damage is not as immediate or dramatic as losing a finger—exposure builds over time. The same is true for hearing loss. Sure, it can seem like a hassle to wear hearing protection in a noisy shop or garage, but hearing loss happens slowly and many workers may not even notice it until it’s too late. While hearing loss is preventable, it is not reversible.
Don’t wait until the pain gets so bad that you need medication or surgery just to keep doing your job. Your body parts are more important than the mechanical ones you’re working on and it’s up to you to protect them.
Correct protective equipment for your hands, feet, eyes, and ears can help dampen the harmful effects, even if not eliminating them altogether. Using better tools—and knowing how to use them to minimize health hazards—can provide a much more effective solution.
LION vs. Traditional Impact Guns
By design, impact guns emit a substantial amount of vibrations and noise2 due to the mechanics of how they are powered—a hammering mechanism within the gearbox strikes repeatedly to counter reaction forces. HYTORC recognized this problem and, building on decades of industrial engineering expertise, designed a solution—a cordless torque gun made specifically for smaller bolting applications.
The LION is affordable, extremely accurate, and delivers repeatable results. Because of the torque gun’s engineering, there is no hammering mechanism or loud noise emitted during use. In fact, LION Gun’s noise emission is 70-75dB, which is more than 200% lower than some of the upscale products on the market, and well below the OSHA-recommended 85dB level.
Unlike impact guns that can struggle with corroded or damaged nuts and bolts, the LION torque gun provides continuous power with no kickback to break out the nuts that other systems can’t tackle. Breaker bars and slugging wrenches are time consuming and can lead to job-stopping injuries. Impact guns have tremendous vibration and noise and have been banned on many jobsites. The LION uses precision gearing and a simple reaction fixture to give you maximum power, without the noise and vibration.
The LION Gun is built using lightweight but durable materials. The comfort pistol grip and quiet operation ensure that the tool operator is comfortable, even on all-day jobs.
HYTORC makes industrial bolting safer and simpler. Since 1968, the company’s engineers have focused entirely on developing the highest quality industrial bolting systems. From steel mills and mining equipment to refineries, power plants, and wind turbines—HYTORC has developed solutions for every bolting application imaginable.
The LION Battery-Powered Torque Gun brings all of the industrial ingenuity of HYTORC to the commercial marketplace, because safety is equally important whether you are building a NASA spaceship, an Apache helicopter, or a school bus.