Vibration White Finger(VWF) is an industrial injury cased from using vibrating hand held tools that operate at frequencies of 5 to 2000hz. The disability is also known as Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome(HAVS) and effects thousands of workers. Some workers effected with the malady can receive Vibration White Finger compensation if their injury is severe enough to hinder their hand movements or prevent them from working.
VWF effects thousands of workers in a variety of different occupations. Workers at high risk for Vibration White Finger are construction workers, maintenance workers, foundry workers, motor vehicle maintenance, public utility workers and shipbuilders. These workers tend to use tools that vibrate heavily such as buffing machines, chainsaws, chipping hammers, grinders, hammer drills and pneumatic drills.
Workers with VWF have compromised blood vessels, nerves, and joints in their arms and hands. Symptoms of the disease are tingling or numbness in the fingers, change in colour of fingers to white, and loss of feelings in the fingers when exposed to cold. Over time, a person may lose the ability to grip objects or lose their fingers completely in the most severe cases.
There are regulations to ensure the safety of workers and to guide employers on how to protect workers who use vibrating tools. It states that a work period with an exposure action value of 2.5m/s2 A(8) should use protective measures to lessen worker injury. Employers are also expected to provide regular health checks to ensure their workers are not suffering any injuries.
A worker is entitled to Vibration White Finger compensation if they develop symptoms due to the prolonged use of hand held power tools at work. The worker will need a professional medical diagnosis that their symptoms are due to VWF. Then the employer is responsible for the pain and suffering the worker is experiencing and the worker can claim Vibration White Finger compensation.
VWF is a serious work related injury that if not treated can cause permanent damage. Workers with the most severe cases can receive Vibration White Finger compensation from an employer if they seek damages. But, these workers have experienced a severe injury which will effect their ability to work in the future.