Vibration white finger (VWF) is an incurable long-term condition caused by prolonged use of vibrating tools. The condition affects the blood vessels in the extremities, mostly fingers and thumbs.

Symptoms

  • Numbness of the fingers
  • Tingling of the fingers
  • Whitened fingers
  • Trouble gripping things/picking things up
  • Reduced strength in hands and arms
  • Pain when using hands

Over time, continued use of vibrating tools can lead to affecting the muscles, joints, bones and nervous system (hand-arm vibration syndrome). VWF can also develop as a secondary form of Raynaud’s Syndrome where the blood supply to the fingers is decreased. It can also lead to carpal tunnel syndrome which is characterised by tingling, numbness, pain and weakness in the hand which negatively affects the sufferer’s ability to complete daily tasks and their ability to work.

Causes

VWF is often a condition that develops in the workplace as a result of prolonged exposure to power tools such as: hammers, rotary saws, chainsaws, hand drills and many more. Occupations including construction, forestry, utilities and metalwork are more at risk of developing VWF, but any occupation where power tools are used are as equally at risk. Colder climates are also another risk factor.

Prevention and Risk Management

As there is no cure for VWF, prevention is very important. The Vibration Regulations have set guidance for employers who are at risk of workers developing VWF. Employers should always look for alternatives or ways of reducing vibrating equipment and ensure that workers are given regular breaks to avoid prolonged use (10 minutes every hour). Employers should ensure workers are kept warm and dry by providing adequate clothing in order to maintain good blood circulation. Employers also have a duty of care to train workers on how to handle different vibrating tools.

Vibration White Finger – Personal Injury Claim

Unfortunately, employers don’t always abide by the guidance set out in the Vibration Regulations and unfortunately, many workers begin to develop this incurable condition. If you’re suffering from VWF due to excessive use of vibrating tools at work, you may be able to claim compensation.

SeverityCompensation
Most Serious Persisting bilateral symptoms in a younger person which interfere significantly with daily life and lead to a change in employment£31,640 – £38,430
Serious In this bracket there will have been a marked interference with work and domestic activity. Attacks may occur throughout the year.£16,760 – £31,640
Moderate This bracket will include middle aged individuals where employment has been maintained or varied only to remove excess vibration. Attacks mostly occur in cold weather.£8,640 – £16,760
Minor Occasional symptoms in only a few fingers with a modest effect on work or leisure.£2,990 – £8,640

Here at GSR, we are personal injury specialists who always make the time for our clients. We work with you on a no win, no fee basis so you won’t have to pay anything if your case in unsuccessful. Contact us on 01772 356201 or email team1@gsrsolicitors.com today for your free consultation so we can assess your case.

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