Slater and Gordon Lawyers offer a free consultation for people suffering from Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), also known as Vibration White Finger. Call our Personal Injury Solicitors on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online.
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Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) is caused by the regular use of vibrating hand-held tools, such as pneumatic drills. This can lead to tingling, numbness and whiteness in the fingers - the classic HAVS symptoms. These symptoms are sometimes called vibration white finger (VWF), but this only relates to the vascular condition (the whiteness).
How Do I Know if I Have a Vibration Injury Claim?
The greater and more frequent your exposure to vibration, the more severe your symptoms are likely to be. These include:
- Tingling in the hands, sometimes with aching wrists and forearms. The symptoms tend to disappear when the vibration stops
- Numb fingers with a lack of sensitivity
- Fingertips turn white when cold due to restricted blood flow and there is painful tingling when blood flow returns. Attacks may last for up to an hour.
Treatment for Hand Arm Vibration Finger
Once the condition has developed, there is little that can be done medically to treat it. Smoking may make symptoms worse, so stopping smoking can help. It is also a good idea to keep your hands warm to maintain a good blood supply to your fingers. But sadly, once your nerves or nerve fibres have been damaged, they can't be repaired.
It is better to try to limit the amount of time spent on vibrating machinery or by limiting their exposure. This could be by modifying the tool or the process, introducing work rotation or minimising the hand-grip on the tool. Regular medical reviews are also important to spot early symptoms.
However, employers can only be held responsible for injuries cause by vibration from 1 January 1976. This is the "date of knowledge", established by the high number of cases among miners during the 1970s.
Occupations Likely to Suffer from HAVS
HAVS is normally suffered by workers in the mining, steel and engineering industries. But anyone doing the following activities may be exposed to vibration risks.
- Using percussive tools e.g., riveting, caulking, fettling and swaging
- Grinding, including pedestal and hand-held grinders
- Using pneumatic drills and hammers, including percussive and rotary hammers
- Using chain saws, including garden machinery
Call our Work Accident Solicitors on freephone 0800 916 9046 or claim online and we’ll call you.
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Solicitors at Slater and Gordon are members of the Law Society Personal Injury Panel, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) & the Pan European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers (PEOPIL).