As a result of increased levels of production and the corresponding need to introduce new workers to the assembly lines - primarily women with no previous work experience - work-related upper limb disorders rose in the kitchen appliances manufacturer. The Prevention and Protection Service suspected a correlation between the vibrations generated by the pneumatic screwdrivers and the increasing number of pathologies.
The level of vibration generated by a pneumatic screwdriver depends on the power of the internal motor and on the clutch type. Traditional screwdrivers, using a mechanical slip clutch, produce high levels of vibration. Modern clutches that automatically and immediately stop the feeding air when the preset torque is reached, create four times less exposure. The aim was to decrease exposure below action values of Directive 2002/44/EC, by substitution of the pneumatic screwdrivers that produce higher levels of vibrations.