Vibration White Finger (VWF) Claims
Have you been diagnosed with Vibration White Finger? Claims National is an industrial disease specialist who can provide you with free help and advice about making a compensation claim for vibration white finger.
Vibration White Finger is the term for secondary Raynaud’s phenomenon. This is a condition that affects the fingers, causing them to go white and numb.
What causes Vibration White Finger (VWF)?
Vibration White Finger is caused by over-exposure to vibration, and is almost always an industrial disease, as this amount of vibration is rarely found elsewhere. It is not clear exactly how the vibrations cause VWF but it is thought that the continuous and slight damage to the nerves with prolonged periods of vibration damage the blood vessels causing fingers and hands to lose their functionality and sensitivity.
What sort of tools cause Vibration White Finger (VWF)?
Any vibrating tool can contribute to Vibration White Finger, however the most common are:
- Concrete breakers
- Pokers and compactors
- Grinders and disc cutters
- Hammer drills
- Chipping hammers
- Scabblers and needle guns
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Vibration white finger often develops amongst those whose occupation involves their hands being exposed to vibration. It is called ‘white finger’, as the blood vessels in the fingers are forced into a state of spasm, which causes a colour change in the skin, as well as a change in the feeling of the fingers. Either when the hands get cold, or spontaneously for no reason at all, the skin of the fingers usually goes pale, then blue, before finally turning a dull read colour as the circulation returns, which can burn or tingle the fingers.
These symptoms can occur even if you have had no history of being exposed to vibration, which is called Raynaud’s disease, and there is no cure. However, if you do obtain a history of being exposed to vibration and are experiencing these symptoms, it is likely that you have vibration white finger, of which you may be able to make a claim for compensation.
A portion of vibration white finger sufferers experience uncomfortable pains in their arms, hands and fingers. It is not proven, but thought that these pains are due to damage to the muscles, joints or bones. This can also lead to reduced strength when trying to grip an object.
As mentioned previously, there is no cure for vibration white finger however; there are ways in which you can prevent the symptoms from occurring. Keeping your hands warm will stop the spasm in the arteries, keeping your circulation at a constant rate. Avoiding the original cause of the problem – this could be a tool that you use at work – may also help the symptoms, and will refrain the injury from worsening, at least.
Seeking medical attention is always beneficial, as they may be able to provide you with advice and tips on how to ease your symptoms, and prevent your condition from developing into a more severe case. Reporting your condition to your employer is also significant, especially if you are advised towards making a claim for compensation.
In order to prevent the development of vibration white finger amongst workers, your employer should ensure that:
- You have regular breaks from using vibrating power tools
- You are provided with anti vibration gloves
- Your working environment is kept at a reasonable temperature
- Tools are maintained and repaired whenever necessary
- The correct tools are provided for the job you are doing
- Training is provided on how to hold and use tools correctly