White Finger and You – Why You Should Make a Compensation Claim

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.

How to Prevent Work Place Injuries

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.

    The Symptoms of Vibration White Finger

    White Finger

    White Finger

    The main symptoms attributed to VWF (Vibration White Finger) can be seen in your fingers. The fingers will turn numb and become white; they may even get spasms due to a loss of blood supply to the fingers. Thankfully for most people the condition is not so severe and causes only minor discomfort. However this is not true in all cases as VWF can cause skin ulcers, gangrene and a lot of pain.

    Picking up small objects such as pens or pins become a problem as the feeling in the fingers decreases. There will also be a loss of strength and grip in the hands, a constant pain, tingling or numbness in the fingers and hands and wrists can cause deep discomfort, especially when trying to sleep.
    Some of the main symptoms to look out for include:

    Pins and needles

    Tingling

    Numbness

    White patches

    Coldness

    If you do find yourself with any of these symptoms it’s advisable that you seek immediate medical advice. If you are awaiting treatment for Vibration White Finger there are a few things that could help you:

    Keep your hands warm as it helps stops spasms and improves the circulation.

    Ask your doctor about any prescribed medication that can be taken straight away to ease the symptoms.

    Steer clear of the original cause of your Vibration White Finger. If you contracted the disease by using vibrating tools, more vibration will cause even more damage.

    Stop smoking as tobacco causes the blood vessels to constrict even further, causing even more damage to your fingers.

    Drink hot drinks to help you keep warm.

    Eat small healthy meals to keep up your energy.

    Undertake regular exercise which will help improve your circulation.

    Avoid wearing tight clothes or jewelry which may restrict the blood flow. Cover your hands and feet with a blanket to keep them warm.

    Wet clothes will reduce your body temperature, so if you get caught in the rain try to change your clothes as soon as you can.

    Common Work Place Injuries

    white fingerA guide to some of the most common work related injuries

    Slips, trips and falls

    Slips, trips and falls are the most common work place injury. Wherever you work, be it in an office, supermarket, shop or factory there are plenty of trip hazards to catch you out. Some of our trips are born out of our own clumsiness; however other trips may happen as a result of negligence or carelessness on a colleague or employers part.

    Burns

    If you are an electrician, construction worker or kitchen staff, you can be at risk from burn injuries. Some burns can be minor, though painful, but some can be far more serious with permanent scarring and in some case can prove fatal. Even making a cup of tea in the staff kitchen can lead to being burnt so always be careful around anything hot.

    Back and neck injuries

    Back and neck injuries can unfortunately affect anyone in any profession. People lifting items incorrectly are a big cause of back injuries. These items don’t even have to be particularly heavy, even something like a box of paper for your copier could cause damage to your back.  Stiff, painful back and necks can also be caused by poor posture, lack of movement and badly designed work stations, while workers who spend most of the day standing run the risk of suffering musculoskeletal injuries. It is advised to take regular breaks to keep your muscles moving and working.

    RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury)

    Recent work place injury research suggests that 1 in 50 workers suffer from RSI. Those who are most at risk from RSI tend to be those who use their hands and arms for much of the day such as typists, factory workers and drivers. Symptoms of RSI include numbness and pain in the wrists, arms, shoulders and neck.

    Vibration injury

    Workers who use powerful machinery and power tools are running the risks of vibration injury commonly know as ‘white finger‘. White finger can cause a tingling sensation and numbness in the fingers and hands as well as turning the affected fingers and hands white. Those who are most at risk of contracting vibration white finger are construction workers, mechanics and ground workers.