If you have developed Vibration White Finger (VWF) and believe it is down to your employers negligence you may have a case to start a Vibration White Finger claim for compensation.
What Is Vibration White Finger?
Vibration White Finger is a type of industrial injury that results from using vibrating equipment for extended periods of time. When working with vibrating power tools in the workplace, workers instinctively use a tight grip. Over a period of time, this tight grip together with the persistent vibration hinders blood circulation and causes micro-injuries to the nerves and muscles in the wrist, leading to Vibration White Finger or VWF.
Workers who routinely use vibrating tools and equipment for extended periods of time at work are most susceptible to this type of injury. While there are several tools that could cause VWF, the most common suspects include jack hammers, chain saws, pneumatic drills, hedge trimmers and sanders amongst others.
Minimising The Risk Of VWF To Workers
The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 was passed in recognition of the risks brought on by working in this type of environment. According to this regulation, employers have a duty of care towards their workers. Among other things, employers are responsible for putting in place appropriate measures to minimise the risk of developing any industrial injury, including Vibration White Finger.
Some things that employers are required to do include:
- Providing workers with personal protective gear. In this case, the gear includes anti-vibration gloves.
- Providing workers with the correct tools for getting the job done.
- Ensuring that all employees who work with vibrating tools undergo the correct training on how to use the tools and what they can do to protect themselves.
- Incorporating regular breaks into the work schedule so that workers do not operate any vibrating equipment for long periods of time at a stretch.
- Making sure that all power vibrating tools are well-maintained and working efficiently.
- Maintaining a safe working environment to minimise the risk of injuries.
If the employer fails in their duty of care, whether it is due to inadequate training or inappropriate protective equipment, the injured worker may be eligible to file a claim for compensation based on negligence.
Recognising Vibration White Finger Symptoms
Before you can file a Vibration White Finger claim, it is important to recognise the symptoms of VWF. The condition is basically the result of damage to the blood vessels, muscles, and nerves in the fingers, wrists, arms and hands. These can cause a wide range of symptoms. Some individuals may experience only one or two of the symptoms listed above, while others may experience almost all of the symptoms to varying degrees.
Common Symptoms Of VWF
- Tingling feeling or numbness in the fingertips – this can sometimes go beyond the fingertips and extend to the entire length of the fingers. These sensations may be intermittent or continuous, making it difficult to perform certain tasks such as writing, picking up small objects or holding a fork.
- Aches and pains caused by injury to the joints, muscles and/or bones – the severity and location of the aches and pains depends on which joint, muscle or bone has been damaged.
- Reduced strength in fingers due to injury to the joints, muscles and/or bones in the fingers – this reduced strength can make it difficult to grip objects.
- Skin discolouration and/or cold fingers – this is usually seen in workers who work out in the cold weather or from holding cold objects for extended periods of time. The fingers may turn from white to red or blue.
If you experience any of the above Vibration White Finger symptoms due to negligence in the workplace, you should consider taking legal action and getting compensated for your injuries.
The symptoms of Vibration White Finger can force you to take time off from work or even give up your job completely if the symptoms are very severe. The condition can also leave you unable to do your daily chores or participate in your favourite hobby or sport.
Receiving compensation for Vibration White Finger can at the very least cover your loss of income, as well as your medical expenses and other costs associated with the injury.
Starting A Vibration White Finger Claim For Compensation
When starting a Vibration White Finger claim for compensation, it is always advisable to contact a personal injury solicitor to represent you. A solicitor who specialises in accident at work claims will have the experience and knowledge necessary to put together a powerful claim that will strengthen its success. You have to keep in mind that it’s very likely you will be going up against your employer’s highly experienced corporate lawyers. You shouldn’t take the risk of representing yourself. You need the best legal representation possible.
The good news about many personal injury solicitors is that they will not ask you to pay any fees upfront so you have one less thing to worry about. During your first free consultation, an advisor or solicitor will evaluate the merits of your claim and if you have a strong case, they will almost certainly ask to represent you on the basis of a No Win No Fee agreement. According to the terms of a No Win No Fee agreement, the solicitors will cover all expenses associated with the case, including the court fees. You are only liable to pay the solicitors fee if the court rules in your favour. In most cases, the amount you will be required to pay is a percentage of the award that you receive. By speaking with our team now they can advise you on how strong a claim for Vibration White Finger compensation you might have, what compensation you may be entitled to and any questions on solicitors fees.
Another advantage of having a personal injury solicitor to represent you is that you can be sure that the case will be filed in court before the 3-year statutory time limit. Compensation claims for all industrial injuries, including VWF, must be filed within 3 years of the injury or 3 years from the date that the injury was diagnosed. Knowing that your solicitor will take care of your Vibration White Finger claim allows you the peace of mind to focus on recovering from your injuries and taking care of your other commitments.