Injuries and accidents at work - Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome
While employees are at risk of a variety of accidents at work, they are also subject
to a number of personal injuries and illnesses that can be caused by their
workplace conditions, the type of work that they do or the negligence of their
Some of the most common personal injuries resulting from work include those
that are caused by repetitive movements, such as Repetitive Strain Injury, or
continuous use of certain types of machinery, such as Hand-Arm Vibration
Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome
Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) is a condition caused by frequent use of
hand-held vibrating tools, such as pneumatic drills and regularly working with
machinery that vibrates.
It is thought that the constant vibration can cause the blood vessels in the hands
to tighten and blood flow to be restricted. This can result in numbness, pins and needles as well as aches and pains caused by damage to the muscles, joints
and bones. But the most commonly associated symptom of HAVS is Vibration
White Finger, otherwise known as Raynaud's phenomenon.
Symptoms associated with Raynaud's phenomenon or Vibration White Finger
- - The fingers turning white and cool - the blood vessels narrow and go into spasm
- - The fingers turning blue - oxygen is used up from the reduced blood supply
- - The fingers turning red - the blood vessels open up again, blood flow returns to normal and tingling or throbbing is experienced
VWF may begin with just one finger turning white, and then more fingers may turn
white, making the disease irreversible and the pain more intense.
Rannaud's phenomenon is rarely a direct cause of an injury or accident at work involving vibrating tools or machinery. The cold, wet weather triggers the condition
and it is then worsened by the vibration.
Developing HAVS in the workplace can be prevented in the following ways:
- - Using and holding tools correctly
- - Ensuring that tools are well maintained
- - Using anti-vibration gloves
- - Taking regular breaks when using vibrating tools
- - Keeping the hands warm
- - Not smoking, as chemicals in tobacco can affect blood flow
Around one in 10 workers who regularly use vibrating tools are likely to develop
HAVS. Further, a Medical Research Council survey in 1997-98 estimated that more than 300,000 people suffer from VWF in Great Britain. This has led many
that sustained the industrial illnesses to pursue personal injury compensation
claims which, if successful, can range from £1,500 to £21,000, depending on the
severity of the condition.
To read more about HAVS please visit www.hse.gov.uk
Making a claim for an injury or accident at work today
Whether you have suffered an accident at work or sustained a personal injury or
illness as a result of your employment, you may be entitled to make a no win no
fee claim through The Claim Solicitors.
Our personal injury solicitors are experienced at dealing with a variety of personal
injuries and industrial illnesses from head injuries and whiplash injuries to asbestosis and a Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome, and their tremendous skill in
this area is supported by their excellent claim success rate.
We work on a no win no fee basis, meaning that you will not have to pay your
solicitor's fees in the unlikely event that your claim is unsuccessful. But further to
that we guarantee that you will not have to pay a penny towards your claim,
whether you win or lose.
To find out more about our services or to make a compensation claim following
an accident at work, call us today on 0800 197 32 32.