Are you working with vibrating tools and equipment or handling vibrating materials at work?
- Are you now suffering from loss of strength in your hands?
- Tingling and numbness in your fingers?
- Are your fingers going white and becoming red and painful on recovery?
- Are you not able to feel things properly?
Then you may be suffering from a recognised medical condition called Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS). This is a recognised industrial disease and if you are diagnosed with HAVS as a result of being exposed to vibrating power tools at work, you may be able to bring a claim for compensation.
The effects of the above symptoms can have a significant impact on your day to day living. It can include:
- Having reduced grip strength and reduced ability to work in cold or damp conditions because this triggers the painful finger blanching attacks.
- It can have an impact on even simple everyday tasks such as doing your laces or fastening buttons. On top of all of this, HAVS can cause pain, distress and sleep disturbance which in turn may impact your family and social life.
Contact your GP
HAVS affects the blood vessels, nerves, joints and muscles in the arms, hands and wrists of the person suffering. If the symptoms are ignored, HAVS can become disabling so please contact your GP if you are suffering from the above symptoms and you have or are still working with vibrating tools and/or equipment or handling vibrating materials.
You will be most at risk from developing HAVS if you use any of the following or similar for a significant period of time:
- Handheld or hand guided power tools
- Machines such as concrete breakers, grinders
- Hammer drills, chainsaws, hedge trimmers, mowers
- Pneumatic drills, sanders, scabblers/needle guns
- Vibratory rollers, concrete levelling vibratables
- Electrical screwdrivers
Duty of Care
There is a Duty of Care placed on employers to protect their employees from HAVS. As early as the 1970’s it was recognised that vibrating power tools could cause HAVS. The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 requires employers to prevent or reduce risks to health and safety from exposure to vibration at work. Therefore, your employer should be taking the necessary action to reduce the risk.
Specific action is required of the employer when the daily vibration exposure reaches a certain level.
Many people have made successful claims for compensation.