You may know it as Vibration White Finger, Raynaud’s Syndrome, Raynaud’s Phenomenon, or you may not have heard of it at all, but it’s a condition that affects over 300,000 people in the UK and over 2million are at risk.

If you use certain power tools in the workplace, then you are among them.

Personal injury specialists Johnson Law Solicitors have produced this infographic to raise awareness of the condition among employers and employees, as well as to help people to recognise the symptoms and remedies.

Vibration White Finger (VWF) is a form of repetitive strain injury where the small blood vessels in the fingers periodically spasm causing them to go bluish-white, cold and feel very painful.

Attacks can last from a few minutes to several hours and once the spasms subside the fingers turn red as oxygenated blood returns to the finger tips.

Using vibrating equipment and power tools is the primary cause of VWF, if you use pneumatic drills, jack hammers, sanders, concrete vibrators, chainsaws, compactors or lawn mowers at work, then you are at most risk of developing the condition.

Symptoms of VWF include:
• Tingling and numbness in your fingers
• Inability to feel or pick things up using your fingers
• Loss of strength in your hands
• Fingertips turning white and then red in cold, wet weather

It may however take months or even years for these symptoms to appear, so if you are at risk it’s important to take early action.

Using certain power tools for just 15 minutes at a time is enough to expose you to VWF. The absolute maximum (for a non-hammer action tool) should be 4 hours, and your employer should enforce limits on using vibration equipment as a health and safety measure.
For your part there are steps you can take to prevent VWF. Try to keep warm at work and wear gloves when in cold temperatures and exercise your hands and fingers regularly to help to maintain good circulation. It is also essential to use vibration equipment for short bursts of time rather than long periods and for no longer than is necessary.
If you do develop symptoms they can be treated by improving your fitness and circulation, avoiding vibration equipment, stopping smoking and wrapping your hands as soon as an attack occurs.
The effects of VWF cannot be underestimated. It is a painful condition that in severe cases can cause permanent damage and ulceration of the tissues which requires hospital treatment.

If you feel you are at risk of VWF within the workplace you must raise the issue with your employer. They have a duty to protect you and keep you informed of relevant health and safety issues.

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One Comment

  1. These are also the symptoms of Borrelia (Lyme disease) and Bartonella (Tick borne ) many people have no idea they have either or both of these diseases as they are misdiagnosed as Vibration White Finger, Raynaud’s Syndrome, Raynaud’s Phenomenon,
    Many thousands of Lyme sufferers work outside were these VWF conditions are caught from being bitten by Ticks ,Deer Fly ,Horse Fly, and Mosquitoes.

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