Industrial disease claims are on the rise due to increased cases of vibration white finger and hand arm vibration syndrome. If you have worked in an environment that may have led to either of these conditions, then you may be entitled to compensation. Specialist solicitors will be able to help you with any questions that you may have about the claims process, so it is best to get in touch with them as soon as possible in the claims process.
What is vibration white finger?
Vibration white finger is also known as hand-arm vibration syndrome and is a secondary form of Raynaud’s syndrome. It is an industrial injury that is triggered by the continuous use of vibrating hand-held machinery. Vibration white finger claims can be made if you have suffered as a result of your employer’s negligence.
The disorder has an impact on the blood vessels, nerves, muscles, and joints of the hands, wrists, and arms. Unfortunately, the syndrome is permanent once it has developed.
What are the symptoms of vibration white finger?
Some of the symptoms of vibration white finger include:
Tingling ‘whiteness’ or numbness in the fingers
This symptom means that both the blood vessels and the nerves in the fingers are affected. It is likely to be the first sign of the syndrome and is likely to get worse if the use of vibratory tools is not stopped. Feeling in the fingers may eventually be lost.
The fingers changing color
This symptom means that the blood vessels are affected. The fingers will at first become pale and the feeling in them will be lost. This phase is then followed by the fingers flushing an intense red when the blood circulation returns to the fingers. This is often uncomfortable and is accompanied by intense throbbing.
Loss of manual dexterity
In the most severe cases, attacks can occur frequently and can last up to an hour. In these cases, this generally signals that the nerves and muscles are both affected. You can lose manual dexterity and suffer from reduced grip strength.
In very extreme cases, sufferers can lose fingers if they do not address the symptoms. To complicate matters, sometimes symptoms can disappear after they initially appear, but then start again if the hands, wrists and arms are subject to further vibration exposure.
It is important to address vibration white fingers symptoms as soon as you notice them, because these is a three-year limit on the time in which you can make. Claim from when you are first aware of your symptoms.
What is hand arm vibration syndrome?
Hand arm vibration syndrome is the result of excessive vibration through the hands and arms. In as little time as 6 months, nerve damage and restricted blood flow to the hands and fingers can occur. Some of the common symptoms of HAVS include:
- Pain, tingling and total loss of feeling
- Muscle wasting
- Reduced strength and ability
- Loss of fine motor skills
- White fingers that can also become painfully red
Once it begins to develop, HAVS can quickly become a debilitating condition that has an impact on your everyday life.
There are a number of things that your employer must be able to prove that they’ve done to lessen the risks of you developing HAVS or VWF. These include:
- Giving all employees information about the risks that are in their workplace and how they are protected from them, in addition to instructing and training employees on how they can avoid these risks.
- Consulting employees on the health and safety issues that they face. This consultation must either be direct, or through a safety representative that is elected by the workforce or appointed by the trade union.
- Carrying out regular risk assessments that address all of the potential harm in the workplace.
If you have developed either of these conditions because of your employer’s negligence, then you can likely make a claim against them.