VIBRATION WHITE FINGER
People in certain occupations involving vibrating machinery can, if not properly prevented by their employers, develop problems with their fingers.
This is commonly known as vibration white finger, or VWF. It can also be called Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, or HAVS.
The condition was common upon miners who rightly received significant compensation for their injuries arising from years of harmful use of vibrating machinery.
It is a painful and debilitating condition and can have serious effects on a person’s everyday life and their ability to carry out their work. The condition can cause significant pain, numbness and tingling in the fingers. The tips of the fingers may go white and this may extend further down the fingers, with the passage of time. At first, the symptoms can be intermittent but as time goes on, if exposure to vibration continues, the damage can then become irreversible. The symptoms can then get progressively worse and become permanent.
Your employer should take steps to try and limit your exposure to harmful levels of vibration. These steps can include:
Giving you adequate and regular breaks from using the tools
Ensuring that your working environment is not too cold – although this can obviously be difficult for you if required to work outdoors
Providing anti-vibration gloves, although the effectiveness of these is limited
Ensuring that any appropriate anti-vibration dampers on the machinery are working properly
Ensuring that all machinery is kept properly maintained
Training you on how to use the tools properly
Monitoring your health to check that any such problems are detected early and your vibration exposure reduced
Ensuring that you have the correct tools for the job at all times
If your employers have not complied with the above and you develop these problems, you may be entitled to compensation and we will do everything possible to fight your corner for you.