Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome

Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome

Industrial diseases have become extremely common. More and more employees are being vulnerable to industrial diseases due to safety malpractices by employers.

Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome used to be called Vibration White Finger and many people still use that name. It was called that because the condition was identified previously for many years by the fingers going white. It was believed that the whitening of the fingers causing numbness was the dominant symptom hence the name.

However, it is now believed that symptoms like constant tingling, loss of manual agility, and loss of grip strength are more disabling and that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome should also be considered under a wider name. The name Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome was then adopted.

Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (also called Vibration White Finger) is a common industry-induced condition in which the fingers, hands, and arms suffer symptoms including tingling and numbness, blanching, loss of grip strength, and loss of feeling as a result of excessive use of hand-held vibrating tools.

Vibration Induced Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is less common, but we still see many claims. If your employer has failed to provide you with proper training and safety measures for the use of such tools, and you have suffered from this condition; then our solicitors at OH Parsons can help you make a claim for compensation arising from the development of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome against your employer and secure compensation for you.

What are the symptoms of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome?

Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome is a serious industrial disease in which long-term use of vibrating tools can lead to permanent symptoms.

Common Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome symptoms include tingling, pain, numbness, throbbing and loss of skin color, loss of grip, and manual agility. Though the symptoms differ from person to person, patients are often triggered by cold and end up with agonizing flare-ups that may last for hours. Symptoms can also deteriorate with time, causing a serious impact on the patient’s daily life.

Extreme cases of vibration white finger can also result in amputation of the hand or fingers. Patients may experience loss of strength and inability to perform small tasks such as holding a pen or gripping things or carrying out even the simplest tasks in cold weather or using cold water.

What are the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common constitutional condition, but it is accepted by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Health and Safety Executive that vibration can cause this condition.

Because it is a common constitutional condition it requires the assistance of a specialist solicitor such as those at OH Parsons to successfully pursue a claim. The symptoms can be similar to Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome such as tingling and numbness and loss of grip strength, but the major distinguishing symptom is wakening at night due to tingling and numbness in the fingers and hands.

How can an employer safeguard his employees from industrial diseases such as Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome?

The Health and Safety at Work Act makes it mandatory for employers to ensure that all safety measures are taken for the health of their employees.

Exposure to vibrating tools should be controlled with strict time durations so that workers are not over-exposed to such tools. Workers should be given proper training and limits should be placed on the use of vibrating machinery and equipment.

How can I prove a claim for Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome against my employer?

While some people think that certain health conditions are just something that was destined to happen and no one was responsible for the same, it is not always so. If you have been diagnosed with Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome and you have been handling heavy vibrating tools at your workplace, then it is likely that your employer is responsible for your condition.

You need to ask yourself the following questions with regards to your working conditions:

      • Was I informed about the exposure time limits for using vibrating machinery?
      • Was I given prior training for using heavy vibrating tools?
      • Was there any process for tracking the time duration for exposure to vibrating tools?

In case the answer to all or any of these questions is “No”, then you may be able to make a vibration white finger claim against your employer.

How can I make a No Win No Fees Claim against my employer for Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome?

Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome is a common industrial disease and if you are suffering from the condition then you can make an industrial disease claim against your employer. You should make the claim within 3 years of what is called your date of knowledge.

This may be your date of diagnosis but could be earlier depending upon when the court thinks you should have known. We can help you to determine that date and whether your claim would be within time.

You can contact our specialist No Win No Fees solicitor for a free consultation. He can help you understand the entire legal process with ease. Our operations are based on the No Win No Fees scheme according to which our clients are not liable to pay us any fees even if they happen to lose the case. We do not have any hidden costs which simply relieve our clients of any financial burden.

How much compensation can I receive?

The amount of compensation you are eligible to receive is personal and depends on one person to another. It takes into consideration certain aspects of your condition, your circumstances, and of course, your age.

The amount of compensation is based on:

      • The extent of your condition and your age;
      • Whether you are obliged to find alternative work away from the exposure;
      • Whether you need retraining to do another job;
      • What help you may need with jobs around the house;
      • Any equipment such as gloves you may need to prevent attacks.

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