Vibration White Finger Claims

You may be entitled to a vibration white finger claim compensation if you have been diagnosed with the industrial disease and are suffering the pain and numbness caused by the debilitating condition.

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What is vibration white finger?

Vibration white finger (VWF) is a painful industrial disease. Also known as Traumatic Vasospastic Disease, Dead Fingers or Spastic Anaemia and Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), it is caused by continuous use of vibrating, hand-held machinery. It is not clear how vibration causes the condition. The likely cause is the slight but repeated injury to the small nerves and blood vessels in the fingers. Over time, these may gradually lose some of their function and cause symptoms of VWF to occur.

VWF can affect nerves, joints, muscles, blood vessels or connective tissues of the hand and forearm.

VWF symptoms may recede if you stop using vibration tools and machinery early enough, but often the condition is permanent.

Symptoms of VWF include blanching of fingers (hence ‘white finger’) and pins and needles. VWF is often accompanied by pain and aching, which leads to numbness and a lack of coordination. Often the symptoms do not appear for some years, even if you use vibrating tools continuously for a long period.

If you’ve worked with pneumatic drills, grinders, chainsaws, sanders, lawnmowers or other such vibrating machinery and are suffering these symptoms, it is possible you have VWF and should seek a medical diagnosis as soon as possible so that a potential compensation process can be instigated.

How to diagnose vibration white finger

The symptoms of industrial white finger may be mild at first. However, if you continue to use vibrating machinery, they are likely to become worse over time. As the condition develops, numbness becomes permanent. This leads to muscle weakness and wasting. 

If you work with vibrating tools or machinery and notice the signs of HAVS, you need to seek medical advice immediately. Tests to diagnose HAVS may include checking your grip strength, your ability to perform fine hand movements and the response of your fingers to cold. The condition will not go away on its own. You also need to notify your employer and have yourself taken off duties that involve using vibrating tools or machinery.

How to get vibration white finger compensation

Employers owe employees a duty of care to ensure they are not exposed to harm in the workplace.

The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 require employers to prevent or reduce risks to health and safety from exposure to vibration at work. This includes taking specific action when exposure to vibration reaches a certain level. The exposure action value (EAV) is a daily amount of vibration exposure above which employers are required to act to control exposure. The greater the exposure level, the greater the risk and the more action employers will need to take to reduce the risk. For hand-arm vibration, the EAV is a daily exposure of 2.5 m/s2 A(8).

If you believe that reasonable measures were not undertaken to avoid the development of HAVS, you could be due compensation for industrial injury.

At  Tilly Bailey & Irvine Law Firm, our industrial negligence solicitors are part of a full-service, award-winning law firm. Our personal injury team is led by John Hall. As well as having years of experience running workplace accident claims cases, John is a panel member of Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA) and a Senior Litigator with the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.


John and his team are dedicated to providing quality, compassionate, knowledgeable service to our clients. We will ensure you are never made to feel like ‘just another client.' You can also be confident that you will receive a high standard of client care, which includes your emails and phone calls being returned promptly and being kept fully up to date with the progress of your claim.


We understand the pain that VWF and HAVS can cause, and the impact on everyday life. Not only will we provide a sensitive, confidential service, we can also arrange for a health professional to examine you and work out a comprehensive rehabilitation program to aid your recovery.

Our specialist industrial injury lawyers have successfully secured significant settlements for clients who have suffered from VWF because their employer has not adequately managed the risk of their exposure, or provided adequate training on how to prevent the condition developing.

We offer no win, no fee arrangements for our clients too. This means that if you do not receive compensation, you will not have to pay any legal fees.

Many HAVS claimants worry that they will have to face their employer in court. It is important to remember that your employer will have insurance to cover any negligence claims. In addition, due to our extensive experience in bringing VWF claims, in almost all cases a settlement is reached well before the court date.

If you are suffering the effects of VWF, talk to our personal injury solicitors.  We have long term experience in achieving excellent settlements for clients who have suffered due to the negligence of their employer, including in complex cases against multiple employers.


To find out more about how we can advise you on a HAVS compensation claim please contact us on 0333 444 4422 , fill in our contact form - or use the Get in Touch form to the right and begin a discussion with one of our solicitors.


  • Kay Ditcham
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