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Industrial Disease

Vibration White Finger Compensation Claims

Vibration White Finger occurs when damage to the fingers due to prolonged exposure to vibration causes the tissue to whiten. It is typically associated with numbness and a loss of motor function which makes it difficult to grip small items.

The condition is more generally known as Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, or HAVS, especially in cases where the tissue of the fingers turns red or purple instead of white, or in cases where there is no visible colour change but other symptoms are detected.

It is essential to take immediate action if you think you are developing HAVS or any vibration-related injury so you can prevent further damage to your fingers and hands.

You may also have related Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) due to the damage associated with making your muscles and other soft tissue perform the same actions again and again without enough chance to recover in between.

Unfortunately, once HAVS becomes serious enough, there is no known cure for the condition. This can lead to lifelong symptoms which are difficult to live with and may worsen further with age.

If you would like to make a vibration white finger compensation claim, contact our team of specialist industrial disease solicitors today on 0161 979 0803 for a free, no obligation discussion of your case.

Symptoms of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome 

There are a variety of symptoms of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, not all of which are visible. 

Common symptoms of HAVS include: 

  • Visible discolouration, reddish/purple flesh, pale flesh in Vibration White Finger cases.
  • Discolouration especially noticeable at the fingertips, spreading down the fingers over time.
  • Loss of physical sensation in the fingertips, numbness, difficulty gripping small items.
  • Phantom sensations e.g. pins and needles due to nerve damage in the fingers.
  • Symptoms may extend to the hands and wrists in severe cases. 

Once they have set in, these symptoms are incurable and can be very difficult to alleviate or compensate for - so if you notice any of the early signs of HAVS and work in an occupation exposing you to frequent vibration, seek medical advice immediately.

What Causes HAVS?

HAVS is a result of vibration damage to the smallest blood vessels in the fingers, wrists and hands, due to prolonged exposure to vibrations, usually in the workplace.

Some of the possible activities that can produce this kind of damage include:

  • Use of vibrating machinery and of power tools like drills and jackhammers.
  • Holding the hand in the same position for prolonged periods of time.
  • Gripping a steering wheel during a long journey especially on rough roads.

These are just a few examples. Vibration injuries like HAVS can occur in any role where your hands are exposed to ongoing vibrations, or where you have to hold your hand still and resist external forces acting upon it.

If you work in any such role where HAVS is a reasonable expected risk, you should be vigilant for any numbness, tingling sensations or change in colour in your fingertips, and take quick action to prevent the symptoms from worsening once you detect them.

How Can Employers Prevent HAVS?

With no way to cure most cases of HAVS, it is essential employers take steps to prevent serious incidences from occurring.

Some measures which can be introduced in the workplace in order to do this include:

  • Employee awareness, training and handling techniques.
  • Rotation of tasks to avoid prolonged and repetitive exposure.
  • Frequent rest breaks to give soft tissue a chance to recover.

Employers should also listen to their workers - so if you reported pain or discomfort associated with your job and no suitable action was taken, you may have even more of a right to compensation for your employer's inaction on the issue.

There is no reason why any worker should be left with chronic pain, loss of feeling or loss of motor control due to their job, so in any case where you feel that your work has led to this kind of vibration injury, please contact us to discuss the possibility of making a claim.

Negative Effects of HAVS

The negative impacts of HAVS range from minor inconvenience to chronic pain and discomfort, and the condition usually progresses with age as the natural ageing process adds to the injury.

On a day-to-day basis you might notice an apparent loss of motor function, for example difficulty buttoning your shirt, holding cutlery or picking up small items like coins.

This is because the highly sensitive skin on your fingertips is no longer sending the necessary information back to your nervous system, making it harder to tell when you are gripping something with the right amount of pressure.

In some cases, there is pain instead of numbness. This can be even more debilitating, as the loss of motor control is accompanied by a sensation ranging from an ache or throbbing, to sharp stabbing pains along the fingers and in the nerves of the wrist.

Expert Personal Injury Solicitors for HAVS Cases

If you plan to make a compensation claim for HAVS, it's important to choose experienced personal injury solicitors with a proven track record of successfully pursuing HAVS personal injury claims.

This includes expertise in compiling vibration data for the tools and equipment you were exposed to in your daily job - this kind of documentary evidence supports your claim and helps to demonstrate your injury occurred in the workplace.

Because vibration injuries develop over time, it is essential to be able to show they originated from workplace activities and not from your own hobbies, pastimes and interests.

At Pabla & Pabla Solicitors we have worked on many, many cases involving workplace vibration injuries, White Finger Syndrome and HAVS, and we know what it takes to build a successful claim.

We also understand this kind of condition can be distressing to live with - which is why throughout your claim we work to reduce the amount of stress you are exposed to. We aim to take as little of your time as possible so you are free to enjoy your life to the fullest.

To speak to our team today about your claim, how much you might be awarded, or to commence proceedings, call Pabla Solicitors on 0161 979 0803.

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