Vibration White Finger and Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)
Have you ever used vibratory machinery at work, even if it was months or years ago? Do your hands, wrists or arms flare up red or white and become painful?
If you are suffering from these symptoms you might have ‘vibration white finger’ or ‘hand arm vibration syndrome’.
Claim Compensation for your Vibration White Finger
You may be able to make a claim for vibration white finger or hand arm vibration syndrome with AWH Solicitors on your side, and receive the compensation you deserve.
3 Types of Vibration Injuries and their Symptoms
Symptoms usually include tingling and/or numbness in the hands and fingers.
As the symptoms get worse, sufferers can lose feeling in their hands and fingers which prevents them to complete even the easiest of tasks.
Symptoms usually affect the small blood vessels in the hand and fingers where blood flow circulation is restricted.
This condition causes blanching and numbness in the fingers and arms.
Symptoms may be in the form of arthritis, tendonitis and changes in muscle fibre.
Sufferers may notice reduced mobility and pain in their hand and arms.
Frequently Asked Questions regarding Vibration White Finger Claims
Learn more about vibration white finger and the legal services offered by AWH Solicitors.
Call us today or request a call back to find out more about how we can help you claim compensation for your injuries.
What is vibration white finger?
Vibration white finger (VWF) also known as White Finger Syndrome is an industrial injury caused by the continuous use of vibratory tools such as pneumatic drills and grinders.
It is a condition found commonly in industries with heavy tool use, such as in mining and engineering.
It is a condition that affects thousands of workers every year. However, due to the awareness of the condition increasing over recent years, a reduction of new cases has been observed.
Sufferers of VWF may find that the term Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) is often used by their health professionals to explain the condition, as HAVS is a broader in its description of the condition.
HAVS can affect many different aspects of the body such as the nerves, joints and muscles. In nearly all cases one of the main indications is white fingers.
What are symptoms of vibration white finger?
Vibration white finger symptoms can vary depending on the extent of the damage caused.
Below are some of the most common warning signs:
- Loss of strength and dexterity
- Blanching or whiteness and redness of the fingers
- Tingling, numbness and pain in the hands and fingers
- Throbbing and swelling of the fingers
Sufferers of vibration white finger will typically struggle to pick up small objects. In extreme cases workers may even find themselves struggling to continue their work.
WTF and HAVS symptoms often worsen in cold weather due to blood flow being restricted.
What is hand arm vibration syndrome?
Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) is the medical term for symptoms caused by the excessive use of vibratory hand-held or hand guided power tools and machines.
The excessive use of vibratory tools can cause damage to the nerves, blood vessels and joints of the hand, wrist and arm.
What has caused my vibration white finger or HAVS?
Vibration white finger and HAVS can arise in one or both hands or arms due to exposure to vibration, often during the course of a person's employment or just after the employee has ceased their employment.
There are a number of causes due to the usage of vibratory machinery or tools such as:
- Pneumatic drills
- Chain saws
- Angle grinders
Using this type of equipment can restrict blood flow, causing fingers and hands to suffer from white finger syndrome.
Pain and discomfort are also present during flare-ups, which usually last from between two to 30 minutes depending on the extent of the damage to the hands.
It is important that employees are provided with the proper protection and breaks when using this type of vibratory equipment.
Most commonly this is in the form of protective gloves. Monitoring the amount of time the employee is spending using the equipment can furthermore prevent damage to the hands and fingers.
What steps should I take if I think I have vibration white finger?
If you believe that you have vibration white finger, we recommend that you make a medical appointment in order to get an official diagnosis and access to any treatment you need.
Your medical specialist will be able to determine whether your condition has been caused by work. They will be able to further advise you as to which steps to follow to prevent your health from worsening overtime.
You need to inform your employer of your symptoms, so that they have an opportunity to implement any additional health and safety measures required within the workplace.
If you are diagnosed with vibration white finger, you can turn to AWH Solicitors for legal advice and support in regards to claiming compensation for your injuries.
Our team will be able to help you pursue a claim against the responsible employer and secure you the compensation that you rightfully deserve.
Who is responsible for my vibration white finger and hand arm vibration syndrome?
An employer has a duty of care towards their employees and should protect their health and safety while at work.
If your employer has failed to put the necessary measures in place, to prevent you from suffering this injury they can be held responsible for your condition.
If you are uncertain as to who is responsible please get in touch today.
You may be unaware of certain precautions your employer should have in place. This is where we can help. We can also help to determine whether your employer is at fault and if you are eligible to pursue a claim for compensation.
Is my vibration white finger permanent?
Vibration white finger will typically start off as temporary but can worsen over time and become permanent if no action is taken.
If you are suffering from the previously mentioned symptoms, we recommend that you tell your employer right away.
This will give them an opportunity to carry out a risk assessment and implement any further health and safety measures needed to prevent you from further injuring yourself.
This should stop your condition from becoming permanent or worsening and will help to prevent any other workers from suffering from similar conditions.
Whether your vibration white finger is temporary or permanent, we can provide you with legal advice on the options available to you.
How do I prevent HAVS?
First and foremost, employers have a duty of care to protect their staff from suffering from this type of condition.
If symptoms do start to occur, make sure to report this to your employer at your earliest convenience. Your employer should review the amount of time you are operating the tools and assess if there is any protective measures they can implement to avoid harm to their employees.
Other things you can do are:
- Ensure you have been provided with suitable PPE
- Ask your employer if you can use suitable low vibration tools
- Make sure to always use the right tool for the task you are required to complete
- Before using the tools, make sure to give them a look over to ensure they have been properly looked after and maintained
Take little breaks to ensure you are not using a tool for a long period of time in one go.
In some cases it may be beneficial to massage or exercise your fingers during your breaks, as this can help with blood circulation and bringing back feeling into your fingers.
If and when you can, wear gloves, a hat and waterproof clothing to keep yourselves warm. Cold temperatures can worsen the condition.
Legal Advice and Support for Vibration White Finger and HAVS
Our solicitors have years of experience running vibration white finger and hard arm vibration claims and will therefore be able to handle your case with a great deal of skill and expertise.
From gathering evidence and working with specialists, you can rely on us to ensure that you have access to the very best financial and medical support available.
We work hard to identify who is responsible for your condition. Even in the circumstances that the company is no longer trading.
In those cases we can still locate their insurance provider and obtain the compensation from them.
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