Do you have Vibration White Finger?

making a vibration white finger claim

What is Vibration White Finger?

Vibration White Finger (VWF) is a long-term condition that typically happens to people who have regularly used certain types of vibrating tools for prolonged periods of time.  These can include things like sanders, grinders, disc cutters, hammer drills, chainsaws, hedge trimmers and power mowers.

Continuously performing tasks that expose the hands to vibration can damage joints, blood vessels and nerves.

The effects are sometimes known as Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) and is a secondary form of Raynaud’s Syndrome. HAVS is a widespread recognized industrial disease affecting tens of thousands of workers. It is a disorder that affects the blood vessels, nerves, muscles, and joints of the hand, wrist, and arm, and in 1970 the Industrial Injury Advisory Council introduced the term Vibration-Induced White Finger.

What tools and industries often cause this?

According to the HSE’s “Guide on Vibration at Work” there are a number of higher risk industries with greater chance of being affected by this:

  • building and maintenance of roads and railways
  • construction
  • estate management (eg maintenance of grounds, parks, water courses, road and rail side verges)
  • forestry
  • foundries
  • heavy engineering
  • manufacturing concrete products
  • mines and quarries
  • motor vehicle manufacture and repair
  • public utilities (eg water, gas, electricity, telecommunications)
  • shipbuilding and repair

They also state that among the hundreds of tools that can cause this, some of the more common are:

  • chainsaws
  • concrete breakers/road breakers
  • cut-off saws (for stone etc)
  • hammer drills
  • hand-held grinders
  • impact wrenches
  • jigsaws
  • needle scalers
  • pedestal grinders
  • polishers
  • power hammers and chisels
  • powered lawn mowers
  • powered sanders
  • scabblers
  • strimmers / brush cutters

What are the symptoms?

  • Tingling with whiteness and / or numbness in the fingers
  • Fingers changing colour
  • Loss of manual dexterity
  • Loss of digits – in extreme cases, the sufferer may lose fingers.
  • Permanence – the symptoms can worsen and become permanent

How do I know if I’m entitled to compensation?

If you have been diagnosed as having developed vibration white finger through your employer’s negligence, then you may be able to seek compensation. You typically have three years to make a personal injury claim from when you are diagnosed.

Remember, Marley Solicitors operate on a no-win-no-fee basis, so if you’ve been affected then do get in touch.  You have nothing to lose and potentially a lot to gain.