Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome Symptoms

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hand arm vibration syndrome symptoms
LLB (Hons) & LPC Stacy Pimlott
Legally reviewed by: LLB (Hons) & LPC Stacy Pimlott In: Industrial Disease

Common Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome Symptoms you Should Look Out For

People with hand arm vibration syndrome often suffer from a range of symptoms that can cause pain and discomfort.

Hand arm vibration syndrome can be a debilitating condition, and often interrupts the day-to-day life of the people who suffer from it.

You should keep an eye out for the symptoms of hand arm vibration syndrome if you frequently use hand held vibratory tools at work.

What are the Symptoms of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome?

There are a range of symptoms that are associated with hand arm vibration syndrome. You might suffer from them occasionally at first, with them developing and becoming more severe as your condition develops.

The most common symptoms of hand arm vibration syndrome caused by vibration tools and machines include:

  • Numbness in the fingers, hands and arms
  • Tingling in the fingers, hands and arms
  • Pain in the fingers, hands and arms
  • Swollen and throbbing fingers
  • A loss of strength in the hands
  • Inability to pick up and grip small objects

You could suffer from one or multiple of these symptoms. They are likely to interfere with your daily life and prevent you from doing ordinary tasks such as holding a pen or typing on a keyboard.

Have you developed symptoms like the above? Then you may be able to make a hand arm vibration claim.

Claim Compensation for Hand Arm Vibration

Have you been diagnosed with hand arm vibration syndrome? Get in touch and find out how much compensation you may be entitled to. 

hand arm vibration syndrome symptoms (HAVS symptoms)

What is Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)?

You may have heard of hand arm vibration syndrome, but what actually is it?

Well, it’s a condition which is most commonly caused by using vibratory tools and can have an affect on the blood vessels, nerves, joints and muscles in a person’s hands and arms.

The condition arises when a person frequently uses hand held vibratory tools.

HAVS symptoms can start to develop even if you don’t spend a lot of time working with power tools. With some tools even fifteen minutes of usage a day is enough to cause the condition to develop.

It can be prevented by the use of proper, working safety equipment, but once the damage is done, unfortunately there is no going back. It is a permanent, irreversible condition.

The Difference between HAVS and VWF Symptoms

Hand arm vibration syndrome symptoms and vibration white finger symptoms are very similar and can easily be confused. Regardless of the condition, if it was caused at work, you can claim compensation. Learn more about vibration white finger compensation claims.

If you have developed HAVS as a direct result of your employer failing to provide you with adequate protection, our industrial disease solicitors could help you.

A different condition, caused also by vibratory power tools is Dupuytren’s Contracture, or ‘Claw hand’, where the use of this machinery causes the fingers to permanently bend.

What Causes Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome Symptoms to Develop?

As mentioned above, the primary cause of HAVS is the use of vibratory tools that are hand held. This includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • Jackhammers
  • Chainsaws and jigsaws
  • Pneumatic and hammer drills
  • Powered sanders, polishers and grinders
  • Concrete breakers and pokers

When using machinery with a high level of vibration, workers must be given adequate breaks and protective equipment in order to prevent hand arm vibration syndrome symptoms from developing.

With very high vibration levels, the maximum time limit per working day for using the tool is just fifteen minutes. By this measure, you should at the very least be given a break after this amount of time. Really though, you should be rotated into a role that doesn’t put you at risk of developing HAVS after the fifteen minutes is up.

Employers should also ensure that their staff are given gloves which are specially made to protect the hands and arms from excessive vibration.

If you work with vibratory tools and are not being given protective equipment or breaks from your work, we could help you.

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What Can You Do About HAVS?

Unfortunately, hand arm vibration syndrome is irreversible, so once you begin developing symptoms they will be with you for life. Hopefully, if your symptoms are mild enough they will not interfere with your day-to-day life too much.

However, fair warning that if you begin to develop symptoms of hand arm vibration syndrome and continue to use vibratory tools, the condition will only worsen. Therefore, it might be necessary to find a new job where you aren’t required to use hand held vibratory tools.

Obviously, this could be quite stressful, and might leave you unemployed while you retrain or look for new employment. That’s where getting compensated for your pain and suffering can be very helpful. By pursuing a claim against the negligent employer who’s to blame for your condition developing, you could get compensated for any past, present and future loss of earnings.

As long as you have developed or noticed your symptoms in the past three years, you have the potential to make a claim.

Although compensation won’t reverse your suffering, it can help you by allowing you to take time off to rest and retrain (if necessary) without having a financial burden weighing down on you. This way, you will be less stressed and will be able to look forward to the future you deserve.

If you are suffering from any of the hand arm vibration syndrome symptoms listed in this article due to your employer’s negligence, you could make a claim with our support.

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