FAQs: Vibration white finger


What is vibration white finger?

Vibration white finger (VWF) is a medical condition also known as hand-arm vibration syndrome. It typically arises where someone’s job involves frequent contact with vibrating equipment. This could include power tools like concrete breakers, chainsaws or hammer drills; and vibrating hand guided instruments like compactors, pokers and grinders.
Symptoms of VWF include numbness and tingling in the fingers; loss of hand strength and dexterity; and fingers sporadically turning white. VWF can impair the sufferer’s ability to work or do everyday tasks as well as causing pain and distress.

How does health and safety law protect workers from VWF?

Employers have a general duty of care which requires them to take reasonable steps to protect workers from risks.
In addition, specific duties have been imposed on employers through statutes. Notably, these include the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005.

What are the requirements of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations?

The Regulations require employers to minimise workers’ exposure to vibration related risks. It sets specific limits (defined by “exposure action value” and “exposure limit value”) regarding the intensity and amount of vibration that workers can be subjected to through tools and machines. In addition, employers must try to reduce the risk to workers of using vibrating tools, for example by training them in the best way to grip equipment.
Manufacturers of vibrating equipment are required under the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 to provide information about the vibration emission of their products. This can help employers comply with their obligations.

How are employers’ obligation enforced?

The Health and Safety Executive may carry out inspections and investigations on employers to check compliance with regulations. They may instruct employers to make certain improvements or take enforcement action including prohibiting certain activities or withdrawing licenses. In extreme cases they can initiate a prosecution of the employer which could result in a financial penalty or even imprisonment. 
Where a worker contracts VWF as a result of their employer’s breach of duty, they may be able to claim damages. This could include compensation for pain and suffering, loss of earnings and physiotherapy costs.
If you would like to obtain legal advice on vibration white finger, Contact Law can put you in touch with a local specialist solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local solicitors please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.
0800 1777 162
or fill in the form
Our trained advisor contacts you
Your chosen specialist solicitor calls you
Quick enquiry form
Area of law:
Brands we work with

Brands we work with

Contact Law supports the endeavours of STAE and commends all the work they are undertaking to assist in the plight of the Asian Elephant


We use cookies on the Contact Law site to help us improve it.

If you would like to allow our cookies, please click 'Continue' or carry on browsing. For more information on cookies and how to change your settings, click 'More info'.