If you have worked with pneumatic drills and are experiencing symptoms associated with long-term use, it is time to seek pneumatic drill injury advice before it’s too late.
The best place to start is with your GP, telling him or her about your work history and symptoms. A medical examination will be carried out and a diagnosis made.
Outlined below are three of the most common injuries associated with repeated pneumatic drill use.
Hand arm vibration syndrome
This syndrome is caused by working with vibrating tools for long periods of time. Doing so leads to nerve damage and numbness, muscle weakness and changes in your blood vessels that can lead to white finger.
If you are someone who often works with pneumatic drills you should be mindful of potential symptoms, such as numbness, tingling (pins and needles) in your fingers and aches and pains in your lower arm and hand.
Vibration white finger
This is directly related to HAVS, but is restricted to the fingers. Again, the condition is caused by excessive exposure to vibration and is preventable if the correct safety guidelines are in place and followed. Vibration white finger, which is also known as Raynaud’s phenomenon, usually comes in bouts triggered by cold weather or even just by touching cold objects with your hands.
The first stage occurs when fingers go white and cool due to the narrowing of blood vessels. The fingers can then turn blue because insufficient oxygen is getting to them, due to narrowing of the blood vessels. The final stage occurs when the fingers turn bright red, signalling the reopening of the blood vessels, which typically causes throbbing, tingling and discomfort.
Repetitive strain injury
This is an umbrella term used to describe a wide variety of injuries affecting the limbs caused by repeated gestures, grips and poor posture. The one most applicable to the pneumatic drill is the repeated gripping of a vibrating tool, which results in injuries to the soft tissues of the hands and arms.
Symptoms range from tenderness and cracking in joints and muscles to reduced grip strength and numbness in the fingers. These symptoms are progressive in nature and can leave you with a permanent disability if left untreated.
Prevention and treatment advice
The best way to treat these injuries is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Carrying out proper risk assessments, training and constant reminders of workplace safety and the operating guidelines to follow when using a pneumatic drill achieve this prevention.
If you feel you are experiencing any of the previously mentioned symptoms you are advised to seek medical advice and treatment immediately. It may also be sensible to reduce your exposure to vibrating tools until your doctor recommends otherwise.
If you feel your employer has been negligent in any way regarding your condition you should inform them about your injuries without delay and seek pneumatic drill injury advice from Accident Advice Helpline, which is open 24 hours, seven days a week.
One of our team of experienced lawyers will be happy to discuss your case and the chances of your claim being successful.
So for expert legal advice about a possible claim call Accident Advice Helpline today on: 0800 689 0500 from a landline or: 0333 500 0993 from a mobile.
Date Published: May 19, 2014
Author: David Brown