In the UK, in 2013/14, more than one million people suffered from a work-related illness and 28.2 million working days were lost through illness and injuries caused by occupational health problems and accidents at work, according to the Health and Safety Executive.
If you’ve been injured in a work accident or you suffer from a work illness, you should consider claiming compensation.
What causes vibration white finger?
If you regularly work with vibrating or hand-held tools, you may be at risk of vibration white finger, also known as hand-arm vibration syndrome. This is a condition, which can cause nerve, blood vessel and joint damage in the hands and arms. Examples of tools, which may increase the risk of this work-related illness include:
- saws and chainsaws
- needle guns
- pneumatic and road drills
- chipping hammers
- grinders and disc cutters
- hedge trimmers
People who work in the following industries and jobs may be at risk of hand-arm vibration syndrome:
- tree surgery
- agriculture and farming
- gardening and green-keeping
- road construction
- mechanical engineering
Recognising the warning signs and symptoms
As with many work illnesses and work-related injuries, if you can spot the danger signs of vibration white finger early, it may be possible to prevent further damage.
Symptoms include numbness of loss of feeling, tingling, loss of grip, reduced strength, pain and whiteness in the fingers, which may turn to a blue shade and then redness; this is symptomatic of Reynaud’s phenomenon and tends to occur in wet and cold conditions.
If you notice these symptoms, it is advisable to see a doctor so that you can be assessed and speak to your employer about measures which may help to prevent your symptoms from getting worse.
Employers should comply with health and safety policies and encourage good working practices. Examples of steps, which may help to reduce the risk of injuries in the workplace include wearing protective clothing, including gloves, taking regular breaks, using low vibration tools and carrying out regular risk assessment.
Can I claim compensation?
If you believe you have an occupational illness and you are not to blame, you could claim work injury compensation. If you wish to pursue a work accident claim, call Accident Advice Helpline today on 0800 689 0500, to find out more about work illness compensation and discuss the details of your case with an adviser.
Date Published: March 2, 2015
Author: Accident Advice