Many cable crimping applications throughout the industry are conducted using manual ratchet tools or hand hydraulic tools. Depending on the number of operations conducted each day and the hand force required to close the handles of the tool, Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) can result.

The average force required to close the handles of a ratchet crimp tool is 22Kg, and with many applications in factories and OEM’s requiring 250+ terminations per day, a significant risk is exposed. Looking to statistics available online, 29% of repetitive strain injuries will result in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). This condition is where the Median nerve in the wrist is squashed in the Carpal tunnel, creating chronic pain, pins & needles, and numbness in the fingers and hand of the operator. In worst cases CTS can only be resolved with surgery, one hand at a time, resulting in employees being unable to work for 6-8 weeks.

Those at risk of CTS are employees where they have a combination of:-
1. Repetitive bending and stretching of the hand
2. High force applications of squeezing or gripping tools
3. Exposure to high vibration (e.g. motor driven saws/ grinders)

The new alternative to manual ratchet crimping tools for high volume, high force applications, is the Klauke Micro tool. This is an electro-mechanical tool suitable for Pre-insulated connectors (up to 16mm2), Boot-lace ferrules (up to 50mm2), and Cu tube lugs (up to 25mm2). The Micro provides a 90% reduction in hand load experienced by the operator to help keep employees safe and maintain high productivity.

The Micro is less than 1kg, completes in excess of 300 crimps per charge in less than 1.5 secs per crimp. As an intelligent tool, it ensures full closure of the jaws on every crimp and comes with the ability to link to Klauke iPress software, where quality records can be downloaded and stored for improved traceability.

There are more reported cases of CTS in our industry and with better, safer, more productive tool solutions available today, each employer has a duty of care to provide the most suitable tools to their employees.