Vibration white finger (VWF) is caused by repeated and frequent use of hand held vibrating tools such as power drills, jack and kango hammers, chainsaws, whacker plates and pneumatic drills. It has been estimated that up to 1 in 10 people who work regularly with vibrating tools may get VWF and HSE data shows that over 3000 new cases are notified each year.
It is thought that the vibration transmitted to the hands damage the small nerves and blood vessels in the fingers. Over time these may gradually lose some of their function and cause VWF.
The symptoms are pins and needles, numbness and blanching of the fingers. Damage to the muscles, joints and bones may cause aches and pains in the hands and lower arm. The strength of grip may be weakened. In mild cases it may only affect the tips of the finger(s).
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Vibration White Finger
In severe cases a permanent numbness may extend along the affected fingers. Manual dexterity is impaired. It is difficult carry out fine tasks such as fastening buttons, handling loose change and screws. The cold weather often makes the condition worse. If VWF is detected at the early stages and the sufferer is removed from vibration, there can be a complete recovery.
If, however, it is detected only at an advanced stage, then there is nothing anybody can do. The condition is permanent. The courts will take into account that your health, livelihood, family and social life can be adversely affected. Your injury may be damaged for life. You may have to change jobs or in fact may be unable to obtain employment.
Below is a small sample of actual case settlements:
The claimant, a 53-year-old man, received £16,000 for vwf sustained as a result of using vibrating tools during his employment with the defendant for approximately 24 years as a road worker. The claimant used pneumatic tools which called "road breakers" and "whackers". The claimant suffered from severe symptoms of hand-arm vibration syndrome, and he was unable to continue in his employment with the defendant.
British Gas Worker
The claimant, a 42-year-old man, received £72,853 for vibration white finger, after handling pneumatic drills during his employment with the defendant between 1977 and 1995. He suffered from frequent attacks in his fingers, and could no longer participate in hobbies that he had previously enjoyed
The defendant was a company specialising in ship repairs and the claimant worked in the boiler-making shop. Over many years he used various grinding tools that caused vibration. In the 1980's he suffered blanching of the fingers and his sleep and general day-to-day work were affected. Much later it was realised that the symptoms were attributable to his employment. He was diagnosed with vibration white finger and received £70,150 in compensation.
If you or your relative is suffering from the effects of Vibration White Finger… Contact Us now for free initial advice.