HAVS and Vibration White Finger Claims Compensation
Vibration White Finger (VWF), or Hand and Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) as it’ll soon be called, is an industrial disease affecting the hands and arms. If you have HAVS, it’s pretty certain it’s been caused by your use of vibrating machinery.
And, if you were using that machinery whilst at work, it’s your employers’ responsibility to make sure you’ve received the correct training. If you didn’t, and you’re now suffering from HAVS, your employer has left themselves open to you making a claim from them for compensation.
Why Would I Need Compensation for HAVS?
HAVS can stop you leading a normal life. It affects the nerves, muscles, arm joints and blood vessels, from the tips of the fingers right up to top of the arm. To begin with, the vibration affects the nerves and blood vessels, causing them to restrict blood flow – which is why it was once called vibration white-finger! The result of this is the discolouration of the skin, numbness and tingling you are probably experiencing. These symptoms can be worrying, but they’re usually not severe enough to stop you going about your everyday life.
However, if your condition is more severe, which usually means pain and reduced mobility in the fingers, you’re probably not going to be able to work very much. And, especially not in the winter, as the symptoms get worse, the colder it gets.
Some employers will be sympathetic to your situation, others not so much. And, if you find your employer is one of the ones who doesn’t understand, you could end up out of work. Unfortunately, when this happens, it doesn’t stop your bills coming in. The gas, water and council tax will still need paying and, if you still have a mortgage, your house could be at risk too!
If this is the case, what will you do? You could dip into any savings you have, or borrow money from friends or family. But neither of these are really long term solutions. The extra stress this situation causes does not help your condition. You may even find that it makes it worse. It can also impact on your home life, if your family start to worry about how you will afford to pay for things it can create tension and arguments. These are worries you should not have to think about when you are ill and that’s where compensation comes in.
Compensation can Help!
This is the very situation compensation was designed for. It’s to help you continue living to the same standards that you had, before you became too unwell to work. If you’re condition is severe enough to stop you working, you are probably also going to need specialist care and maybe even expensive equipment to help you cope as your condition progresses. If this is the case, compensation can pay for that too. And, if you’re family are also your carers, you can, for example, use the money to move into respite care for a while to give you all a break.
What Causes Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome?
The condition is caused by you using machinery that vibrates at frequencies between 5-2000 Hz, although the greatest risk exists between of 5-150 Hz. However, currently doctors are not sure why this causes the symptoms that you’re experiencing.
Once the symptoms appear, diagnosing HAVS is usually straight forward. However, they may not appear until many years after you used the vibrating machinery. So, if you think your symptoms are HAVS, but you don’t currently work with vibrating machinery, think back to the other jobs you’ve had over the years?
If you want to make a claim for HAVS, you must have:
- proof that you used vibrating machinery for a long period of time
- had cold, blue fingers several times
- experienced numbness and tingling in the fingers
Why can you Claim Compensation for HAVS?
In 2005, employers were told that they have what’s called a ‘duty of care’ to the people they employ. This means that they must provide you with the correct training and equipment to work with machinery that vibrates.
If they don’t do this, they are failing in their duty of care towards you, and you’ll be able to claim compensation from them.
Support and Resources for HAVS
There are lots of places where you can find more information and support on HAVS. But, the first place you should look is at our comprehensive guide – ‘Don’t Lose Touch – How To Deal With Vibration White Finger & Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome’
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides information on Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome.
There is a ‘statute of limitations’ applied to claims for industrial disease compensation. This means that vibvration white finger claims for compensation must be made within three years of your diagnosis of hand arm vibration syndrome, so you must act quickly. Get in touch with our experienced industrial disease solicitors today, to be sure you can claim.
‘No Win, No Fee’
Many people don’t want to start an industrial disease compensation claim because they think it will be expensive. That would be true, if we didn’t operate on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. As part of our promise to keep things simple, our vibration white finger lawyers will not expect you to pay a penny, as all of our costs are taken from the final settlement.
More on ‘no win, no fee’ here.
All you need to do is contact us. We can advise on whether you can claim for hand arm vibration syndrome, and on the chances of it being successful, quickly and easily. If we believe that the claim will be successful, and you want to go ahead, we can start right away.