Vibration white finger is a common outcome of using vibrating tools for a number of years. It is also known as ‘hand-arm vibration syndrome’ (HAVS), as sometimes symptoms can appear in not only fingers, but hands and arms too.
Vibration white finger is caused by frequent use of hand held vibrating tools such as power drills and concrete breakers. The small, repetitive movements that take place when using these tools can damage the nerves over time, which causes the following symptoms…
Once the damage is done to the fingers, there is no known treatment for it. You can, however, do certain things which can sometimes prevent white finger from getting worse:
There is no cure for vibration white finger but, as mentioned above, there are things that can be done to prevent the condition from worsening. There are also things that can be done to reduce the risk of an individual developing the condition altogether.
Employers should carry out a HAVS risk assessment to identify where there might be a risk from vibration and who is likely to be affected by it. An employer should then be able to see what needs to be done to comply with the law, for example, whether vibration control measures are needed. If any circumstances change within the workplace, then the employer must complete the risk assessment again. A regular review of the assessment is also necessary, to make sure everything that can be done is done to prevent white finger from occurring. Employees themselves can do certain things which will also reduce the risk of them developing vibration white finger.
These include: -
Use low vibrating tools
Always use the correct tool for the job
Ensure tools have been correctly maintained and repaired
Keep cutting tools sharp
Reduce the amount of time you use a tool for in one go.