The risks of working with vibrating tools have been known for many years now. Prolonged use of these tools can lead to pain, numbness and tingling in the hands, arms and wrists. Therefore, the Health and Safety Executive has written guidance for employers on how to help protect staff from conditions such as vibration white finger (VWF). Importantly, if you’ve developed VWF due to your employer’s negligence, you may be eligible to make a vibration white finger claim for compensation.
Our team specialise in personal injury claims and is here to help you. They’ll start by offering an initial consultation where you’ll get free legal advice on your chances of making a successful claim. If there is a fair chance that you’ll receive compensation, we’ll ask one of our personal injury solicitors to represent you. They provide a No Win No Fee service for all VWF claims taken on. Knowing that you only need to pay for their work if you’re compensated should mean the claims process is much less stressful.
To find out if you can claim compensation for vibration white finger, please call our team on 0800 6524 881 today. Alternatively, please read on to learn more about your options.
Table of contents
- What Is Vibration White Finger?
- Am I Eligible To Make A Vibration White Finger Compensation Claim?
- Employer Negligence That Can Lead To Vibration White Finger
- Industries Most At Risk Of VWF
- How Much Compensation For Vibration White Finger Could I Claim?
- Vibration White Finger Compensation Amounts
- Evidence To Support A VWF Claim
- Time Limits For Claiming VWF Compensation
- Starting A Claim For Vibration White Finger Compensation
Raynaud’s syndrome is a condition that causes problems with blood circulation. It can result in symptoms such as:
- Your digits changing colour.
- Pins and needles.
- Pain and numbness.
- Difficulty moving the affected digit.
Vibration white finger is a secondary form of Raynaud’s syndrome caused by vibration. It is a permanent condition.
Vibration White Finger is a type of industrial injury that results from using vibrating equipment for extended periods of time. These tools can include hammer drills, grinders, sanders, pneumatic drills, jackhammers and chainsaws. Invariably, you’ll need a tight grip when using these machines and that, along with the tool’s vibration, can cause micro-injuries that affect blood circulation. This can lead to vibration white finger.
All employers have a legal duty of care to take reasonable steps to protect staff at work. This comes from the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 can also be used to establish a duty of care in vibration white finger claims.
You could be eligible to claim compensation for the suffering caused by VWF if:
- Your employer breached their duty of care; by
- Being negligent; and
- Your VWF symptoms can be directly linked to that negligence.
If you have been diagnosed with vibration white finger and believe you should be compensated, get in touch today and we’ll review your case for free.
You may be able to make a compensation claim for vibration white finger even if you were self-employed at the time of the exposure. However, the process for making a claim can be more complicated than if you were an employee.
As a self-employed worker, you will need to demonstrate that you were exposed to excessive vibration at work and that this exposure caused VWF. You will also need to show that your exposure to vibration was due to the negligence of another party, such as a contractor or equipment manufacturer.
Please contact our claims advisors if you’d like to get an expert opinion.
Employer negligence that could lead to vibration white finger and therefore a compensation claim includes:
- If you were expected to work with vibrating tools over a prolonged period.
- Where personal protective equipment such as anti-vibration gloves was not provided by your employer.
- If your employer failed to purchase tools with reduced vibration levels.
- You were expected to work with vibrating tools in cold and wet conditions without adequate rest breaks.
- If you did not receive proper training on how to use the tools provided correctly.
- If your employer did not have the tools maintained and repaired regularly.
Later on in this guide, we’ll show you what evidence you could supply to help support a VWF compensation claim.
It could be possible for employees in any industry to claim compensation for VWF if they can show their employer’s negligence has caused their suffering. However, some of the most common industries and roles at risk of the condition include:
- Heavy engineering.
Whatever industry you’ve suffered VWF from, please get in touch if you’d like to discuss a potential compensation claim.
Many people have concerns about being disciplined for making a vibration white finger claim against an employer. Some also worry that their claim might have an effect on the business’ profits. However, you need not worry about either.
Legally, your employer can’t fire you, demote you, stop workplace opportunities or take action against you for making an honest claim against them. This could amount to constructive or unfair dismissal. Also, any successful claim you make will typically be paid by the company’s insurance policy rather than coming out of its profits so there won’t be any direct impact on the company.
Therefore, if you would like to claim for your suffering caused by VWF, please speak to an advisor from our team.
Compensation awarded for any type of workplace injury such as vibration white finger is not a penalty or fine that your employer must pay. It is designed to help you recover from your injuries (general damages) or to cover any financial impact your injuries have caused (special damages).
If you do go on to make a claim, you could be compensated for:
- The physical impact (pain, suffering etc) of your symptoms.
- Depression, stress or anxiety (and other forms of psychological injury) caused by vibration white finger.
- Any impact your condition has on your hobbies, social activities or family life.
- Lost earnings including any reduction of your earnings in the future.
- Medical costs and private medical treatment if needed.
- The time a loved one or carer spent supporting you with everyday activities that you couldn’t complete yourself due to your injuries.
- Travel costs linked to your VWF.
- Aids, devices and modifications to your vehicle or home if they’ll help you to deal with an ongoing disability.
Your VWF claim should be carefully considered before it is filed as you can only submit a single claim. If your claim is taken on by one of our specialist solicitors, they’ll discuss your suffering in full before sending your claim. Their aim will always be to secure as much compensation for VWF as possible to help you both now and in the future.
The Judicial College provide guideline compensation amounts for vibration white finger and many types of work-related injuries and illnesses. We have listed advised VWF compensation amounts below.
- £2,990 – £8,640 compensation for minor vibration white finger where there may be occasional symptoms in a few fingers.
- £8,640 – £16,760 for moderate cases of VWF where the individual has maintained employment but where attacks still occur particularly in colder weather.
- £16,760 – £31,640 compensation for serious vibration white finger injuries that affects home life and working life with attacks that may take place throughout the year.
- £31,640 – £38,430 compensation for the most serious cases of VWF causing a significant impact on life and persistent symptoms.
Please note that these figures only relate to general damages and that no two VWF claims are the same. Therefore, we can’t say exactly what payout you might get until your case has been reviewed by a specialist.
To help determine your prognosis for calculating a settlement, you’ll typically be asked to attend an independent medical assessment as part of your vibration white finger claim. This can usually be arranged locally. A specialist will talk to you about your condition, examine you and check through your medical records. They’ll then send a report to you and your employer’s insurers to detail your injuries.
To help prove why your employer was to blame for your VWF, you should look to provide as much evidence as possible. This could include:
- Medical records to confirm that a GP has diagnosed your condition as vibration white finger.
- Records of your employment history, including dates of employment, job descriptions, and details of the tools and equipment you used.
- Emails, text messages, or letters you sent to your employer if you raised concerns about your well-being.
- Photographs to show the cause of your VWF such as photographs of faulty equipment.
- Details of any colleagues who’d be willing to provide a statement about your working conditions.
- Health and safety records from your employer, including risk assessments, training records, and records of any safety measures that were implemented to prevent VWF.
- Sick notes relating to any time off work you needed because of your injuries.
- Payslips, bank statements, receipts of expenses, and other financial documents to support your claim for special damages.
You may also wish to write your own statement to record the impact of your condition. For example, it’s worth noting down any family events you missed because of VWF and any dates you could not work.
If you claim compensation for an accident at work, you’d usually have 3-years to claim compensation from the date of your accident. However, when claiming compensation for white finger, your condition might not be diagnosed for weeks, months or even years after the damage was caused. Therefore, your 3-year limitation period will start from the date your injuries were diagnosed by your GP.
If you begin your claim early, your solicitor might be able to secure an interim payment from your employer so that you can receive private medical treatment to aid your recovery. Also, it should mean there is plenty of time to collect medical reports and evidence to support your claim.
We hope this guide has helped you decide what to do next. If you are ready to start a compensation claim for vibration white finger, please call our advice centre on 0800 6524 881 to begin.
Remember, all accepted VWF claims are dealt with on a No Win No Fee basis and we provide free legal advice about your claim whatever you decide to do.
If you need any further advice on vibration white finger claims, please feel free to call or use live chat to get in touch.