OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence and severity of HAVS among tyre shop workers in Kelantan, Malaysia.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study involving 200 tyre shop workers from two districts in Kelantan was performed. Part one data were collected at the field using questionnaire, and hand-arm vibration was measured. Part two involved a set of hand clinical examinations. The workers were divided into high (≥5 m s-2 ) and low/moderate (<5 m s-2 ) exposure group according to their 8-hr time weighted average [A(8)] of vibration exposure. The differences between the two exposure group were then compared.
RESULTS: The prevalence of the vascular, neurological, and musculoskeletal symptoms was 12.5% (95% CI 10.16 to 14.84), 37.0% (95% CI 30.31 to 43.69), and 44.5% (95% CI 37.61 to 51.38) respectively. When divided according to their exposure statuses, there was a significant difference in the prevalence of HAVS for all three components of vascular, neurological, and musculoskeletal (22.68% vs 2.91%, 62.89% vs 12.62% and 50.52% and 38.83%) respectively. All the clinical examinations findings also significantly differed between the two groups with the high exposure group having a higher abnormal result.
CONCLUSION: Exposure to high A(8) of vibration exposure was associated with a higher prevalence of all three component of HAVS. There is a need for better control of vibration exposure in Malaysia.