If you work in a foundry, construction or other industry that makes heavy use of power tools and have numbness or pain in your hands you might be asking yourself the question: “can I claim for hand arm vibration?” It is possible you are suffering from hand arm vibration syndrome and if this is this case Accident Advice Helpline is here to help you claim compensation. The repeated vibrations sent through the arms by tools such as chainsaws, pneumatic drills or power sanders could cause serious damage to the blood vessels, nerves, bones, muscles and joints in your arm if proper precautions are not adhered to. This can result in ongoing pain, numbness and a loss of dexterity in one or both of your hands. Your employer should have regulations in place to protect you; if not you may be eligible to claim for hand arm vibration syndrome through Accident Advice Helpline.
What should I do if I show symptoms?
If you think you may be developing hand arm vibration syndrome there are several important steps to take. First you must stop using power tools, as continued exposure could lead to long-term problems; you should therefore notify your employer immediately. Your employer is obliged to protect you and your co-workers from injury and needs to be informed without delay. You must also seek medical advice; treating hand arm vibration syndrome early can ensure you do not suffer lifelong debilitating pain and loss of dexterity. The final step is to seek legal advice to ensure you can claim compensation for any injury sustained. Our helpful advisors at Accident Advice Helpline will help you process a claim quickly and efficiently; all it takes is a single phone call.
Avoid the dangers
There are several common-sense steps you can take to minimise the risk of hand arm vibration syndrome developing. The first is to ensure all the tools you are using are functioning correctly; broken tools may vibrate excessively or prolong your exposure to vibrations due to slower operation. Similarly, ensure you use the right tool for the job; using unsuitable equipment may require additional force or slow the process down, which will expose you to vibrations for an extended period. Taking regular breaks from using such tools can significantly reduce the risk. Holding the tool as loosely as possible, while varying the position will both help to reduce the transfer of vibrations to your hand and change the area on which they are focussed, thus helping to reduce the risk of damage. Ensuring good blood flow to your hands can also reduce the problem; this includes avoiding smoking and keeping your hands warm at all times.
Recognising the early symptoms is an important part of avoiding serious damage; however, if you do suffer any symptoms it is best to seek medical advice and contact Accident Advice Helpline, as you may be entitled to claim compensation. Initial signs include numbness or pins and needles in the fingers, which is caused by the contraction of blood vessels. Later stages will result in the fingers becoming cool to touch and discoloured; possibly turning blue, whilst the hand goes into spasm.
Date Published: October 16, 2013
Author: David Brown