Project Scope

Thesis research project on how the body is affected by power tool vibrations.

Software

Photoshop, InDesign, Solidworks & KeyShot.


Problem | Vibrations

Power tool vibrations are safety issues not known by many of the average tool users. Vibrations slowly build up damage to the users hands and joints that can also lead to further personal injuries and financial costs. Current market tool designs have improved problems with vibration dispersion but further development can increase user safety for average and industrial users.

Research

Power Tool Yearly ER Visits

• About 16 injuries per day.
• Hand tool injuries are costly, severe and happen frequently.
• It is estimated that six people die from power drill accidents every year.

Power Nailers - 37,000 to ER

Chain Saws - 36,000 to ER

Table Saws - 29,000 to ER

Snow Blowers - 5,700 to ER

Circular Saws - 10,600 to ER

Riding Lawn mowers - 37,000 to ER

Power Drills - 5,800 to ER

Backhoes - 38 deaths a year

Air Compressors - 2,400 injuries a year

Wood Chippers - 3 deaths a year

Health Issues

Hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) is caused due to vibrations from hand held tools.
People who work with power tools on daily basis are more at risk of developing permanent health issues.

  • HAV’s affects over one million workers. Regulations have been in place since 2005 to limit the amount of vibrations a worker can be exposed to.

  • Construction workers deal with many health issues like musculoskeletal diseases, hearing loss, lung, and throat diseases.

  • 9% of work injuries in the United States are related to hand tools.

Primarily affects the circulatory and nerve system in the person’s hands. It weakens the muscles in the hands and arms leading to joint pain.
HAVS is “characterized by vascular, neurological and musculoskeletal effects on the body.
Constant contact with vibrations from tools causes injuries that can affect “blood vessels, nerves, joints and muscles in the hands and arms”.

  • Extreme cases, people can have loss of their fingers.

Too much grip force leads the user to be at risk to develop Raynaud’s syndrome.

  • Fingers feel numb and cool in response to cold temperatures or stress. Also, the skin changes into a white color due to the lack of blood flow.

The majority of my research revolved around all power tools and the affects it generates on users. In order to scale down my design research, power drills was selected due to it being a commonly owned tool in homes and businesses.

Vibration Protection

One of the leading suppliers in vibration absorbing material. Sorbothane supplies electronic, industrial, HVAC, and sporting equipment companies. Sorbothane is made of a visco-elastic thermoset polymer. Extremely fl exible material that can be easily trimmed and applied to solve any vibration problem.

Largest supplier of high performance work gloves. West Chester Protective Gear supplies industrial companies with the best products to guarantee their employees are safe and work their best. WCPG offers a variety of gear from basic work gloves to chemical proof gloves.

Power Drill Design Improvement

Looking into both cord and cordless drills, both types still contain extra room to add the Sorbothane inside of the drill shell.

The battery could be modified on the cordless drill models to be placed inside the handle instead of having its own section. This cuts down on the amount of plastic the shell uses.

Final Design