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vibration white finger symptoms

Vibration White Finger Claims

What is hand-arm vibration syndrome or vibration white finger?

It is often known as Vibration White Finger (VWF), but the correct name is Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS). The name HAVS reflects the fact that the condition can affect the whole arm and not just the fingers.

Hand-held vibratory tools such as pneumatic drills and chainsaws are used in many industries from construction to agriculture and manufacturing to public utilities. If an employer does not put in place suitable measures to keep vibration to a safe level, then workers using these vibratory tools can develop symptoms of pain, tingling and numbness in their hands and arms. This is known as HAVS, and it can be permanent.

Symptoms of hand-arm vibration syndrome

HAVS can develop after anything from six months to 20 years of using vibrating equipment. The symptoms of HAVS start off minor and can get progressively worse. They can be more noticeable in cold or damp weather and include:

  • Tingling and numbness
  • Fingers and sometimes hands turning white (known as blanching)
  • Pain
  • Loss of strength
  • Loss of manual dexterity – e.g. struggling to do up buttons

What should you do if you have hand-arm vibration syndrome?

If you believe you are suffering from HAVS, then we highly recommend a visit to your GP for their consultation. If they agree that you may be suffering from the disorder, then you should inform your employer. Tell your employer of your situation and discuss ways to prevent your HAVS getting worse.

Why should you claim for hand-arm vibration syndrome?

The effects of HAVS can be permanent if left untreated. It can affect your ability to work in certain types of jobs, or at all. If you have worked in a particular industry for most of your career, you may struggle to find alternative employment.

If your employer has failed to protect you from injury caused by excessive levels of vibration, then you are entitled to receive compensation for the pain and suffering this has caused together. This also includes any financial losses that you may have suffered such as current loss of earnings, and even in the future.

Limitation period for hand-arm vibration syndrome claims

A limitation period is the maximum amount of time you are permitted to make a personal injury claim after an event has occurred. The limitation period for a vibration white finger claim is three years from when you realised you were suffering from the condition.

Do you have a valid claim?

Vibration white finger claims are almost always an employer’s liability issue. Allowing employees to develop an industrial disease is a breach of an employer’s duty of care. If you have changed jobs since, you can still bring an industrial disease claim against an ex-employer, as long as it’s within the limitation period.

We urge that compensation claims should always be made as soon as possible. The later you leave a claim, the more chance there is that you may miss the limitation deadline and be prevented from bringing what may well be a very valid claim. If you want to make a work injury claim, you can call us or alternatively, you can fill in the claim form at the top of the page to start your no win no fee claim today.

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