When the injury solicitors Halifax residents use are acting on behalf of workers who’ve suffered injury in the workplace, they may be called upon to address something called “Vibration White Finger”, or “Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome” (HAVS). It is a condition brought about through the regular use of power tools in the workplace, wherever that workplace may be. This includes:
- Hand-held power tools such as pneumatic drills
- Hand-guided equipment such as sanders, grinders etc
- Grasping materials being machined
If any of the above operations, or procedures similar in nature to those mentioned above, are a regular part of a worker’s duties, harm can be done by way of HAVS.
Employer’s duty of care
Employers who expose their workers to the dangers of HAVS have a duty of care to their employees to inform them of the risks, and to minimise or eliminate the hazard. HAVS manifests itself in a number of ways, including specific conditions such as vibration white finger (VWF), and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Symptoms of HAVS
The symptoms of HAVS are many and varied, and can include:
- Tingling sensation or numbness in the fingers
- Inability to feel things properly
- Weakness in the hands
- Fingers turning white then becoming red/painful as they recover
The various manifestations of HAVS can result in:
- Disturbed sleep
- Pain and discomfort
- Difficulty with completing fiddly jobs (e.g. fastening buttons)
- Sensitivity to cold and damp which triggers whitening
- A weakening of grip strength – inability to work safely
HAVS is a risk that many workers are exposed to in carrying out their duties. It is therefore the responsibility of employers to manage this risk by deploying the HSE five-stage plan, which comprises of:
- Establishing which procedures involve risk of HAVS
- Assessing the health risk
- Eliminating the health risk
- Controlling the health risk
- Managing the health press
If you have suffered from HAVS as a result of carrying out your normal duties in working environment, and your employer has failed to train you correctly, and manage the risk correctly, then you may be entitled to financial compensation.
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As injury solicitors Halifax workers often employ, handling claims for HAVS is something that we at Accident Advice Helpline have extensive experience with. To find out more about the personal injury claim process, visit our website and start off by using our HOW MUCH calculator that can be found on our homepage. Within 30 seconds it will indicate if you have a valid claim, and value that claim.
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