Thousands of people suffer from Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (or HAVS). Formerly known as White Finger Vibration, it is now known that the severity of the condition far surpasses colour simply draining from fingers.
If you are working with vibrating machinery or power tools, it is possible that you are suffering from Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome.
Those who regularly do repetitive tasks with power tools such as sanders, drills, hedge trimmers, mowers, and concrete breakers are at risk from developing HAVS in the workplace.
What Is HAVS?
HAVS affects the nerves and blood vessels of the person suffering, leading onto muscle and joint aches and pains. Numbness in the fingertips can sometimes spread along the entire finger in extreme cases, leading to problems in everyday life and the workplace.
HAVS symptoms include:
- Numbness in fingertips
- Whitening of fingers
- Cold and tingling sensations in fingers
Symptoms may be exacerbated in cold conditions and can lead to lack of sleep.
If you work with vibrating machinery and are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is imperative you contact your local GP immediately. Untreated and undiagnosed HAVS has the potential to get much worse and can become disabling if left unnoticed.
Those who have worked within the construction industry for a significant amount of time may be suffering from HAVS. Power tools usage is a significant cause of the syndrome and you should immediately contact your GP if you are experiencing any numbness in your fingertips.
White finger syndrome is known as Raynaud’s Phenomenon and can be a major problem to those who suffer from Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome. Cold temperatures or touching cold objects can trigger an attack, which can be distressing and further damaging to blood vessels.
When suffering from an attack, the affected fingers tend to fade to a whitish colour as the blood vessels spasm. A blue colour then follows, as the remaining oxygen is used up, before a bright red appearance signals the return steady blood flow.
Precautionary Measures to Avoid HAVS
Employers are legally obliged to look after the wellbeing of their employees. If the necessary precautions for avoiding HAVS were not put in place, you may be eligible for compensation.
Precautions to avoid HAVS such as providing regular break periods, warm environments, maintaining tools to a high standard and providing anti-vibration gloves are the responsibility of the employer.
HAVS is a well-known condition, which any company dealing in power tools should be more than aware of. It is possible that the risks were outlined during the hiring process.
Working with power tools or vibrating machinery for long periods is not advised, with shorter periods punctuated by breaks a viable precautrionary method.
Keeping warm is key to staving off the effects of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, which makes it unfortunate that much construction work with power tools is performed outdoors. Cold environments and cold objects are prime factors in the development of the syndrome and should be avoided when possible.
Get In Touch to Start Your Claim Today
If you believe that you are suffering from Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, call us today for immediate advice.
HAVS can severely impair the quality of your professional and personal life and as such, compensation may be available for those who are suffering.
Diagnosis can be made from job and symptom descriptions, although physical tests may be required during compensations claims. Our team will suggest the best term of action, although you should obviously contact a GP if you believe you are suffering from injury.
Our team of specialists have extensive experience in the field and are fully qualified to advise on whether or not your have a genuine claim for compensation.