Vibration white finger/hand-arm vibration syndrome—particular features
Produced in partnership with Tom Pacey of 12 King's Bench Walk
Vibration white finger/hand-arm vibration syndrome—particular features

The following PI & Clinical Negligence guidance note Produced in partnership with Tom Pacey of 12 King's Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Vibration white finger/hand-arm vibration syndrome—particular features
  • Symptomology
  • The date when the employer knew of the risk
  • Limitation
  • Medical Evidence
  • Quantum

Symptomology

The most apparent symptom of vibration white finger (VWF), also known as hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) is whitening of the fingers due to spasms of the blood vessels serving them. These spasms can affect all or part of any or all of the sufferer's fingers, which become cold and numb. The attacks can last anywhere from mere minutes up to a couple of hours. It is also possible for sufferers to experience attacks in the feet or nose. The condition is not treatable but may spontaneously improve. The condition may occur naturally, but is often related to over-exposure to vibrating tools.

The cause of the condition has not always been understood and crucially for litigation in these cases the courts have limited liability to the periods after which employers ought reasonably to have been aware of the risks of VWF and the appropriate practices of prevention to adopt. In order to succeed, a claimant must therefore show that their level of exposure to vibrating tools was greater than a prudent employer should have allowed.

The date when the employer knew of the risk

The beginning of 1976 is most often the date that most employers are deemed to have become liable in over-exposure to vibrating tools. However, a whole range of dates have been fixed and the issue