Hand arm vibration syndrome, also known as vibration white finger, is caused by the use of vibrating power tools, such as: pneumatic drills, concrete breakers, concrete pokers, disc cutters, chain saws, riveting tools, fettling tools and grinders. If your job involved the prolonged use of hand-held vibrating tools, you could have been at risk of developing hand arm vibration syndrome.
Hand-held vibrating tools can can also cause other conditions including carpal tunnel syndrome.
The constant vibration of machinery when held can cause damage to the nerves, blood vessels and joints of the hand, wrist and arms.
Symptoms can appear gradually over a period of time. There are a number of symptoms and you may experience one, some or all of them. The following symptoms are associated with hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS):
- Whiteness on your fingers, particularly in cold conditions, which may later take on a blueish complexion
- The skin on the fingers becoming red as it warms up from the cold. This is often accompanied by pain.
- Numbness in the fingers
- Tingling in the fingers
- Pins and needle sensations in the fingers
- Reduced grip
- Difficulty feeling or manipulating small objects
- Loss of sensation in fingers and thumbs, leading to an inability to gauge the amount of pressure you are using on an object
People who suffer from HAVS often report difficulties in doing the everyday activities that they once enjoyed, such as fishing, DIY, crafts, needlework and playing darts. Even a simple task like reading a newspaper can become stressful for some, as it can be difficult for them to feel the paper and to turn the pages.
If you used hand-held or hand-guided power tools as part of your job, you may have been at risk of developing HAVS. This is particularly so if your use of tools was not controlled or restricted, if your employer failed to conduct the necessary risk assessments, failed to provide appropriate training on the use of tools or failed to carry out proper maintenance of the tools.
If you think you may be suffering from HAVS, you could be entitled to compensation from your employer. Contact one of our solicitors today to discuss the matter further. We have extensive experience of securing justice and compensation on behalf of those who have developed vibration related injuries.