If you think that you are suffering from hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), you should make an appointment with your doctor without delay. He or she will be able to prescribe treatment for you and refer you to a specialist if necessary.
HAVS is a condition that progresses gradually over time, causing symptoms that accumulate and worsen with the continued use of vibrating tools and machinery. This may eventually lead to severely reduced hand function and dexterity, where the sufferer has difficulty carrying out simple tasks with their hands (such as trying to pick up and maintain a grip on something). However, while the damage is permanent once inflicted, there is some good news: the symptoms of HAVS do not tend to get worse once you have stopped working with the tools or machinery responsible.
So, the best possible treatment for HAVS is to avoid repeated use of the equipment that initially caused it. This means that, you should consider leaving your line of work and finding another job or role where the risk of aggravating your condition is at an absolute minimum. If you are not able to leave your job, there still some steps you can take to reduce the stress caused to your hands and arms.
How do I ease the symptoms of HAVS?
First of all, if you work in any of the jobs where workers are the most at risk of developing hand arm vibration syndrome your employer is required by law to reduce the risks relating to use vibrating tools. But there are also a number of things you can do to help yourself:
- Don't use vibrating tools or machinery if you don't have to
- Don't smoke – smoking impacts on your circulation, causing the blood vessels to narrow, which can increase the likelihood of developing HAVS
- Keep your hands warm
- Take regular breaks
- Make sure you use the right tool for the job
- Don't use the tool for longer than necessary
- If possible, hold the tool loosely, and regularly change the position of your grip
- Make sure the tool is in good condition – the vibration may be made worse if it is not
- Follow the guidance given to you by your employer – especially with regard to the time limits for using the tools
Can I make a compensation claim for HAVS?
If you suffer from hand arm vibration syndrome caused or made worse by your working conditions, you could be entitled to make a compensation claim.
With Thompsons Solicitors on your side, you will be provided with all the expert advice and guidance you need to move forward with your claim. Our personal injury lawyers have years of experience handling injured workers' claims.
We offer an initial discussion over the phone free of charge, where you will discuss your options with one of our legal experts. You are under no obligation to continue if you decide not to, but if you do, we offer a No Win No Fee Solicitor package for your added reassurance, so you don't have to worry about incurring any unnecessary legal fees.
Talk to our solicitors now by calling 0800 0891331 or click here.
Image © Nate Steiner via Flickr, under CC Licence