HAVS and Raynaud Syndrome
Vibration to the hands and fingers, usually over several years, can lead to long-term damage. Hand arm vibration syndrome, or 'HAVS' is a term used to describe the range of conditions caused by vibration exposure.
Regular and repeated use of power tools which vibrate the hands and arms can cause permanent damage to the blood vessels, nerves and joints in the hands. This damage can be painful and also limit the range of movement in the fingers or hands. HAVS is preventable, but once damage is caused in this way, the effects are usually permanent.
Employers should therefore make sure workers are aware of the risk of HAVS and vibration white finger and provide safety measures wherever possible.
Symptoms of hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS)
Early symptoms of hand arm vibration syndrome include tingling in the fingers, loss of strength in the hands and aches and pains in the hand muscles. The tips of fingers may go white in cold weather.
Do I have Raynaud's syndrome?
A bout of Raynaud's syndrome is normally triggered by cold weather or touching a cold object, and as a result the tips of the fingers, or the whole fingers, will become white and cold due to a narrowing of the blood vessels. The fingers may then become blue, and finally red as blood flow returns. This will be combined with soreness and tingling in the fingers.
If you're suffering from Raynaud's syndrome as part of hand arm vibration syndrome, you may not experience all of these stages but will usually feel a tingling or pins and needles in the hands as fingers become white and cold. The symptoms may last for minutes or hours, and if you continue to use vibrating tools, it's likely that the symptoms will affect you more often - eventually in warmer weather as well as cold.
How might hand arm vibration syndrome affect sufferers?
The symptoms of hand arm vibration syndrome can limit the kind of jobs sufferers can do. For example a limited range of movement in the fingers can mean an inability to carry out 'fine' work such as electrical wiring.
So it's appropriate to claim compensation when a sufferer's working conditions caused HAVS after not being given advice and information on preventing the condition, or applying simple preventative measures.
If you suffer from hand arm vibration or Raynaud's syndrome, call us today to find out more about making vibration white finger claims.
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