Vibrating tools and machinery like riveting machines, for example, can be responsible for causing vibration white finger, an industrial illness where muscle and nerve damage combine with impaired blood flow to cause symptom including:
- Aches and pain
- Finger blanching
- Loss of dexterity
- Loss of sensation
- Numbness and/ or tingling
This condition is one of several work-related injuries or conditions collectively known as HAVS (hand arm vibration syndrome).
Risk factors increasing your chances of developing HAVS conditions, and in particular vibration white finger, consist of:
- Vibrations between two and 500 Hz, with vibrations between five and 50 Hz being particularly dangerous
- Maintaining a tight grip
- Prolonged exposure to vibrations without breaks
- Direct exposure to vibrations without suitable personal protective equipment
- Exposure to large areas of the hands
Suffering from poor circulation (due to tobacco use, cold working environments, poor cardiovascular health, and so on) may further increase the risk of developing this industrial condition.
Use of riveting machines is among some of the main culprits known to cause this kind of injury at work. Your employer should be aware of this and take the necessary steps to minimise the risk of you or other workers being affected by this repetitive strain injury. Such steps may include:
- Investing in low vibration riveters
- Providing pads or gloves capable of absorbing vibration
- Ensuring the working environment is kept at a reasonable temperature
- Keeping riveting operations down to short durations, with recovery breaks of at least 10 minutes after every hour of riveting.
You health should also be monitored on a regular basis to ensure your hands are not affected by this repetitive stress injury.
When all else fails
While accidents at work are not always preventable, your employer has a duty of care that requires that employer to protect your health and safety as much as possible. If your employer breaches this duty and you subsequently suffer from vibration white finger, you could be eligible to make a claim for industrial injury compensation.
What to do next
In this case, you should get a good solicitor to assist you in conducting your work injury claim. The legal team working for Accident Advice Helpline is backed by over 10 years’ experience in helping people like you get the compensation they are entitled to. You can enlist our help by making a call to our helpline 0800 689 0500, manned by helpful and experienced advisers.
Date Published: March 2, 2015
Author: Accident Advice