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What you need to know about vibration white finger as a worker

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2022 | workers' compensation, workplace injuries

Factory workers, construction workers, landscapers and other manual laborers are at risk of vibration white finger because they work with vibrating tools. You may hear vibration white finger referred to as hand-arm-vibration syndrome or Raynaud’s phenomenon. California may allow you to recover workers’ compensation if your employer is responsible for your vibration white finger.

Causes of vibration white finger

Hand-arm vibration syndrome causes the fingers or toes to become numb. They might not stay numb all the time, but they regularly become numb. Exposure to cold or stress could trigger your symptoms. The arteries in your hands or feet constrict, which reduces blood flow to the skin. Anyone who uses vibrating tools for a few hours a day over several months could develop vibration white finger.

How serious is vibration white finger?

In the worst-case scenario, untreated vibration white finger could result in the need for amputation. Over time, untreated vibration white finger causes the arteries that supply blood to your fingers or feet to thicken and further restrict blood flow. Blocked arteries could lead to dead tissue, and ulcers and gangrene can form from the dead tissue. Thus, this condition is not one to ignore.

Symptoms of vibration white finger to watch for are your fingers becoming cold more quickly than they did before, your fingers becoming cold even when it’s not cold outside, your fingers turning blue and throbbing and swelling fingers when they warm up. Some people may find that their fingers turn white in mild or cold temperatures.

Workers’ compensation

Employers must provide ergonomic work environments for workers. If your employer hasn’t reasonably provided an ergonomic work environment, then you might be eligible for workers’ compensation. National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety recommends that workers only use a vibrating tool for up to 10 minutes before taking a break and no more than two hours a day. The organization also warns against workers using a vibrating tool for more than two days in a row.

Vibration white finger is a condition that requires medical treatment, or else it worsens over time. You might be able to receive workers’ compensation if your condition is work-related.


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