Raynaud's Awareness Month - February
Date published: 24 February 2015
Raynaud’s syndrome, also known as vibration white finger (VWF), is a form of repetitive strain injury where blood vessels in the fingers periodically spasm
February is Raynaud’s awareness month, and to help bring attention to the condition, local law firm Johnson Law has produced an infographic to make those most at risk aware of the symptoms.
Raynaud’s syndrome, also known as vibration white finger (VWF), is a condition that affects over 300,000 people in the UK. It is a form of repetitive strain injury where blood vessels in the fingers periodically spasm.
If you use certain power tools in the workplace, then you are among the 2million people at risk of developing VWF. The symptoms include tingling and numbness in the fingers, inability to feel or pick things up, loss of strength in the hands, and fingertips turning white and then red in cold, wet weather.
Speaking on behalf of Johnson Law, David Johnson said: “Using vibrating equipment and power tools is the leading cause of VWF, so if you use tools like pneumatic drills, sanders, chainsaws, compactors or lawn mowers at work, then you are at most risk of developing the condition.”
He added: “Using certain power tools for just 15 minutes at a time is enough to expose you to VWF and employers should enforce limits on using such equipment as a health and safety measure.”
If you think you are at risk, there are steps you can take to prevent VWF. Try to keep warm at work and wear gloves when in cold temperatures and exercise your hands and fingers regularly to help to maintain good circulation.
It is also essential to only use vibration equipment for short bursts of time rather than long periods and for no longer than is necessary.
If you do develop symptoms they can be treated by improving your fitness and circulation, avoiding vibration equipment, stopping smoking and wrapping your hands as soon as an attack occurs.
Mr David Johnson urges employees to speak to their employer if they feel at risk of VWF within the workplace.
“Employers have a duty to protect you and keep you informed of relevant health and safety issues. The effects of VWF cannot be underestimated. It’s a painful condition that in severe cases can cause permanent damage and require hospital treatment.”
More information about Raynaud’s syndrome and Raynaud’s awareness month can be found at www.raynauds.org.uk
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