Hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) is a health condition caused by frequent use of vibratory tools, generally those you use at work. It is a debilitating and permanent condition which will likely affect your ability to continue in your job in the long term.
Depending on the severity of your HAVS symptoms, it may cause you to be unable to carry out everyday tasks at work and at home. In more severe circumstances it may even stop you from being able to continue in your current job role.
The amount of HAVS compensation you can claim will depend on the severity of your symptoms and the damage that was caused to you.
Each person’s situation is unique, which is why in any case it’s always best to get tailored legal advice before you make the decision to start a compensation claim for hand arm vibration syndrome.
Hand arm vibration and white finger claim specialists will go through a range of questions to get a clear understanding of your situation before explaining which legal options you may have.
Most often you can claim on a no win, no fee basis. This means that you won’t risk losing money making a claim. Consultations are in almost all cases completely free of charge and most cases can be handled over the phone and by email, however, you will likely need medical evidence from your GP to back up your claim.
What is hand arm vibration syndrome (also known as HAVS)?
There are a few hand arm vibration syndrome symptoms which you should keep an eye on. These symptoms include:
- Swelling and throbbing in the fingers
- Pain in hands, fingers and arms
- Lack of strength and grip in the hands
- Numbness, tingling and pain in the arms, hands and fingers
You may even have issues picking up objects or holding onto things. Some sufferers say they notice that cold weather affects their mobility in their hands and arms, and causes symptoms to worsen.
HAVS and VWF
A similar condition to HAVS is vibration white finger, also known as VWF. It’s caused by use of the same type of tools and symptoms are similar too. VWF symptoms can easily be confused with those of hand arm vibration.
How are HAVS and VWF caused
It’s every employer’s responsibility to provide employees with the right protective equipment, machinery and enough breaks to avoid conditions such as HAVS and VWF to develop.
It is the frequent use of vibratory tools that can lead to HAVS and/or VWF to develop. Use of such machinery can damage the nerves, blood vessels and joints in both the hands and arms.
The use of high power equipment such as chainsaws, angle grinders and drills can cause the blood flow into the hands to become restricted, which can give the fingers a white appearance and cause a numb and tingling feeling in the hands, arms and fingers.
If an employer hasn’t provided their staff with the right protective equipment/ PPE, causing HAVS or VWF symptoms, then you can make an industrial disease compensation claim.
Assessing if you can claim
If you have a numb or tingling feeling in the fingers, hands or arms, and you use, or have within the last three years used vibratory tools at work, then you may have HAVS or VWF.
Specialist HAVS claim solicitors can help you pursue a compensation claim against your employer if their neglect has led you to suffer from hand arm vibration syndrome.
In order to claim your symptoms must have been diagnosed within the last 3 years. If it has been longer, but your symptoms have worsened in the last 3 years due to conditions at work you may also be eligible to claim.