Hand arm vibration syndrome can be a disabling condition so it is essential that if you are exhibiting some or all of the symptoms of HAVS that you consult with a qualified medical professional as soon as possible. Also by identifying the condition early it will allow you and your employer to take steps to reduce the impact of the causes of the condition in the workplace. This will not only help you but it will also help other employees from potentially developing a HAVS condition.
If you are exhibiting any or a combination of the (non-exhaustive) list of HAVS symptoms noted below you should seek medical advice and discuss the situation with your employer. Furthermore, if you have been diagnosed with hand arm vibration syndrome as a consequence of your work environment you may be able to make a claim for personal injury compensation. See our section on hand arm vibration syndrome claims for further information.
Hand arm vibration syndrome early symptoms
- A strong feeling of tingling or numbness in the fingers
- A cold sensation in the fingers
- A loss of feeling in the fingers
- A loss of strength in the hand/s
- Aching in the wrists and muscles of the forearm
- The fingers going white (blanching) and turning red upon recovery (this may only be in the fingertips at first)
More advanced hand arm vibration syndrome symptoms
- If HAVS persists it may start to affect more fingers or different muscles or joints if the condition is not managed or treated
- The numbness could become permanent which would result in a permanent lack of feeling
- Problems picking up small objects with the fingers
The effects that HAVS symptoms can cause
- A person suffering from HAVS will have pain in the affected area and may well suffer from sleep loss
- Cold weather is a contributory factor in HAVS symptoms so if a sufferer works outdoors; this could affect the ability for the worker to do their job
- More advanced hand arm vibration syndrome can affect the dexterity of the hands so this could prevent people from working in environments where precise tasks are required
- A person’s ability to grip objects can be reduced significantly
Sometimes it is the case that a sufferer of HAVS will recover if the source of the vibration is eradicated or reduced sufficiently but if the vibration continues there is a definite possibility that permanent damage could be caused to the hands (carpal tunnel syndrome) and/or fingers (vibration white finger) and this could prevent you from doing your job, therefore, it is essential that you get medical advice as soon as possible. If HAVS is diagnosed you must inform your employer and you may consider a workplace injury claim for compensation.