White Finger starts off as a fairly innocuous condition that many people may simply choose to ignore, believing it will go away with time. However, the cause of white finger is often long periods of exposure to intense vibrations, such as those generated by a pneumatic drill or a chainsaw, so if a person ignores the problem but does not stop using these industrial tools then the condition will get worse and worse. This could end up resulting in them making a white finger claim.
The reason they might need to seek out accident compensation as a result of their white finger is that the condition can develop into much more serious conditions. What begins as a tingling in the fingers can evolve into them turning completely pale, the reason the condition is known as white finger, accompanied by intense pain as the paleness begins to fade. This is all caused by the blood vessels to the fingers constricting too much and completely cutting off the blood supply. Without their supply of oxygen, the cells in the finger become damaged and die, which results in the sensation of pain as the blood flows back.
The cells dying means that there is an excellent opportunity for necrosis or gangrene to set into the flesh. These almost always have serious consequences as the infected flesh must be removed before it spreads to other regions or poisons the blood. In extreme cases this can involve amputation of the fingers, hand, or even parts of the arm.
Raynaud’s disease is a condition related to arthritis and occurs when blood vessels constrict. The constriction of the blood vessels can cause a lot of pain and discomfort in the affected area as well as some discolouration to the skin.
Raynaud’s has been known to occur as both a primary and as a secondary condition. When Raynaud’s occurs as a primary condition it is not related to any other disease and is referred to as Raynaud’s disease. When Raynaud’s occurs as the secondary condition and related to other health problems it is referred to as Raynaud’s phenomenon. A primary condition of Raynaud’s is more common than a secondary condition and is usually less severe.
The cause of Raynaud’s phenomenon is still not entirely understood. It is known that the constriction of blood vessels which causes Raynaud’s can be caused by exposure to the cold as well as excessive stress. Tests are also being carried out to see if there could be a genetic link to Raynaud’s phenomenon.
Secondary Raynaud’s phenomenon has been linked with
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Mixed Connective Tissue Disease
- Sjogren’s syndrome
Vasospasm which can occur during a Raynaud’s attack will usually last 15 minuets but some people have been known to have them last anywhere between a minute and several hours. Other symptoms include swelling, pain, tingling, numbness, throbbing and discolouration. In Raynaud’s disease both hands and feet are usually affected while in Raynaud’s phenomenon. Fingers and toes are the most common sites affected. Raynaud’s has also been known to affect the ears, nose, nipples and knees.
Work related injuries can be a lot more serious than just a little paper cut; many days each year are lost as a result of serious accidents in the work place, placing extra strain on already stretched company resources. The best way to stop these injuries is to prevent them with better health and safety training. Here are a few tips which may be helpful to you.
- Proper safety equipment and clothing, such as hard hats, goggles and shoes should be worn during appropriate times.
- Any employee who uses potentially dangerous equipment such as drills, saws, nail guns and blow torches should be provided with proper safety equipment and have a safety prevention program in place.
- Concentrate when lifting heavy weights and make sure that you always lift correctly; simply paying attention to what you are doing could save many people from hurting their back.
- When lifting some things that are very heavy try finding someone to help you share the load.
- Be aware of the potential injuries your job could cause. For example cashiers can suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome because of the repetitive movements, while construction workers using automatic drills can suffer from white finger and Raynauds Disease caused by vibration.
- Listen to what your body is trying to tell you, feeling pain is usually your bodies response to injury so if your are feeling pain while doing something stop as it means you are causing yourself an injury.
- There should be at least one first aid kit for every 30 people employed in the company.