White Finger or Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome or Vibration White Finger is an industrial condition caused by exposure to hand transmitted vibration associated with the use of vibrating power tools. It can result in symptoms of discomfort, tingling, numbness and whiteness in the fingers when exposed to the cold. By 1971 industry were or should have been aware of the dangers posed to workers by vibrating tools.
Exposure to significant vibration can give rise to symptoms of tingling in the hands and aching in the wrists and muscles of the forearm. Further symptoms of numbness and lack of sensitivity of the fingers can also occur. The greater and more frequent the exposure, the more severe will be the symptoms. Attacks of whiteness at the tips the fingers may occur when exposed to the cold which is caused by a restriction in the blood flow. When the blood supply returns, the hands and fingers can then go red and be accompanied by painful tingling which can last for up to an hour.
There is little effective treatment once vibration white finger vwf has developed. The body and hands should be kept warm which may help to maintain a good blood flow to the fingers and may reduce the risk of discomfort. Once damage to the nerves or nerve fibres has occurred there is no means of repair.
Tools likely to cause vibration injury include:
- Percussive tools e.g. riveting, caulking, fettling and swaging
- Grinders including pedestal and hand-held grinders
- Pneumatic drills and hammers, including percussive and rotary hammers
- Chain saws and other garden machinery
Industrial diseases affect thousands of people every year and the consequences can be devastating both to work and family life. Our team of attorneys have experience in dealing with White Finger claims.
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