Vibration White Finger (VWF) Claims Advice

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    VWF – Vibration White Finger

    Vibration White Finger (VWF) is a form of Raynaud’s Disease and is also known as Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS). It is a disease or a personal injury that is prevalent in certain industrial occupations that is caused by reduced blood supply to certain parts of the body. The parts of the body that are affected are the extremities such as the ears, nose, fingers and toes, but it can also affect the vascular systems of the fingers, thumbs and arms. Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) or Vibration White Finger can affect employees who during the course of their job are required to use power tools that vibrate or those that are otherwise exposed to high levels of vibration. It has also been known that employees who are exposed to conditions that are very cold on a regular basis can also be at risk of Vibration White Finger. Occupations whose employees are at risk include carpentry, metal workers and others in the mining and construction sectors.

    The causes of VWF

    It is mainly through using power tools that the disorder arises. Some of the power tools that have been known to cause VWF are pneumatic drills, power drills, grinders, disc cutters, power mowers, sanders, needle guns, chain saws, strimmers and hedge trimmers. Any tool that can make your fingers or hands tingle or go numb after using it for around 5 minutes can cause VWF. It is known that in the region of 1 in 10 people who regularly use these types of power tools end up suffering with some type of vibration white finger disorder.

    Compensation cases involving VWF

    Previous cases include a company called Charcon Tunnels who had to pay £10,000 compensation to an employee after an out-of-court settlement when certain vibrating tools permanently damaged his hands. The man from Nottinghamshire used power tools for up to 5 hours a day for his work and was left with vibration white finger disorder. The VWF resulted in numbness and pain in the man’s hands and left him unable to play his favourite sport, darts, or even complete everyday tasks like buttoning up clothes. Liability for the condition was admitted by his employers.

    Steps employers should take to reduce the risk

    There are measures that can be taken by employers to reduce the risk of vibration white finger for their employees and they are legally obliged to take these measures. If these guidelines are not followed by your employer and your vibration white finger has resulted from this failure to minimize the risk of developing the condition, then it is possible for you to make a no win no fee claim for injury at work compensation against your employer for negligence. Measures that can be taken by employers to prevent VWF include:-
    • Risk assessments to identify the possible risks of VWF without which appropriate safety measures are less likely to be taken.
    • Reducing or cutting exposure to vibration by using tools with lower vibration levels.
    • Maintenance of tools should be kept up to date and cutting tools must always be kept sharp.
    • Ensuring appropriate tools for a task are provided to the employee.
    • Employers must always ensure they have provided their employees with the right protective equipment and also ensure that warm clothes are worn in cold temperatures.
    • Regular breaks for workers are required.
    • Making sure that workers are trained in using the tools and know that the need to exercise their hands and fingers regularly to help circulation.

    Making a VWF claim for compensation

    If you have Vibration White Finger because your employer has been negligent by not carrying out the measures above or by ignoring your symptoms you should seek advice from a no win no fee injury lawyer. By not taking the above preventative steps your employer has caused your personal injury and should compensate you for your pain and any loss of earnings or medical bills that you have had to face as a result of their negligence. Compensation you receive can enable you to make a career change, make up for lost earnings and potential future earnings, help you pay for medical bills and give you a better quality of life. Specialist injury solicitors tend to work on a no win no fee (conditional agreement) basis, meaning that your claim is a no risk claim – you pay nothing if you lose your case. If the Vibration White Finger (VWF) was not your fault, you deserve to be compensated.

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