Vibration White Finger/Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome is a condition that affects the hands and fingers. Using vibrating tools at work can cause it. It is preventable, however, once there is enough damage, it is permanent. Therefore, living with Vibration White Finger/Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome is a reality for most people who are diagnosed with the condition.
Causes of Vibration White Finger/Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome
Vibration White Finger (also known as Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome) is caused using vibrating tools over a long period of time. This can be a part of your job, but if you did not have the adequate protection whilst at work and you have Vibration White Finger, then you may be able to make a claim.
Some of the tools that can give off enough vibration to cause VWF include jackhammers, grinders, breakers, jigsaws, and hand held power tools. This list is not exhaustive, and any power tool has the potential to cause VWF.
As people who use power tools for a living will be particularly susceptible to VWF as they are using them daily for long periods of time, employers have a duty to inform employees of the risks associated with the work and to provide adequate safety equipment, such as vibration-absorbing gloves.
Other ways to help prevent VWF include:
- Taking regular breaks from using vibrating tools
- Ensuring tools have a regular maintenance schedule and are in good order
- Undertaking training to ensure you are using tools in the correct way
Living with Vibration White Finger/Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome
There is no cure for VWF/HAVS, so many people find themselves having to live with the condition. According to SRUK, a charity for those suffering with the condition, the key to managing the condition is to try and prevent an attack of the symptoms. They state that the best ways to do this include:
- Keeping warm
- Relaxing and pacing yourself
- Try to steer clear of stressful situations
- Avoid vasoconstricting drugs (nasal decongestants, agents used to treat ADHD, some medications used to treat migraines
- See the Doctor, as they can prescribe certain medicines to help with the condition
VWF may not be the most debilitating industrial disease, but it can still affect how people can use their hands, as it can limit mobility for hours at a time. If you have Vibration White Finger, then you may be able to claim compensation.
Claiming for VWF/HAVS
The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 stipulates employers have a responsibility to protect their employees. Additionally, the law places a duty on employers to minimise the risks common to hand-operated vibration machinery including power tools. Therefore, your employer should take steps to reduce the risk of developing Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome.
How we Can Help
Here at The Compensation Experts we work with solicitors who have years of experience dealing with industrial disease claims. This includes Vibration White Finger/Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome. Contact us today by filling in our contact form. Or call us on 01614138765 to speak to one of our friendly knowledgeable advisors.