Vibration white finger (VWF) is a type of occupational injury or industrial disease that affects the hands and fingers. Also called, “dead finger”, it results from prolonged or continuous use of hand-held machinery that vibrates at high rates. It can result from vibrational frequencies ranging anywhere from 5-2000 Hz; however, greatest risks are associated with machinery vibrating at 50-150 Hz.
VWF is often associated with the broader category of injuries known as hand-arm vibration syndrome (HVS). It is sometimes considered a form of Reynaud’s syndrome.
What are the Symptoms of Vibration White Finger?
Vibration white finger can result in a “white” appearance of the finger or fingers, and can also appear in the hands and wrist. It may affect the nerves, muscles, joints, and blood vessels of the hands, wrists, and arms.
Aside such changes in the physical appearance of the fingers and hands, vibration white finger can result in other more serious symptoms such as:
- Sensation of numbness or tingling in the fingers (due to affected nerves and blood vessels)
- Loss of use of fingers and manual dexterity (hence the term, “dead finger”)
- Feeling of pain or discomfort in the fingers
Some of these symptoms may begin as temporary sensations. For instance, the symptoms may only appear after the end of a work day. However, such symptoms can sometimes become permanent and can lead to loss of function or impairment of the hands. This may lead to a claim for lost earning capacity (loss of the ability to work or earn wages in the future).
Can I File a Lawsuit for Vibration White Finger Injuries?
In some cases, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit for vibration white finger injuries. For some cases, it may be the employer who is held liable for losses suffered by the plaintiff. This may be the case if the employer was aware of dangerous work conditions or dangerous equipment and failed to address the dangers.
Unreasonable overworking of employees can also lead to legal liability for the employer. This may lead to a workers compensation claim, or a private lawsuit for damages. Such lawsuits can result in a monetary damages award to reimburse the worker for financial losses and costs related to the injury. In other instances, a lawsuit may be filed against a manufacturer, especially if there has been a dangerous product or faulty mechanical equipment involved.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Vibration White Finger Claims?
Vibration white finger can lead to serious injuries and losses. You may need to hire an employment lawyer in your area if you need assistance with VWF or dead finger claims. Your attorney can help you file a claim for legal remedies, and can represent you in court during official hearings. Each state has different injury laws, but a qualified attorney can assist you by providing you with legal advice.