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Workers' alert on power tools.

Byline: JON GRIFFIN Business Editor jon.griffin?

CONSTRUCTION workers throughout the Midlands who use power tools have been warned they could be at risk of Vibration White Finger.

Recent research estimates that as many as 300,000 employees in the UK have advanced symptoms of the condition, while more than a million users of hand-held or hand-guided power tools are at increased risk.

Bolton-based Asons Solicitors have now issued urgent advice on the warning signs to detect potential signs of the complaint.

Vibration White Finger (VWF) is an industrial injury which mostly affects those using hand-held vibrating tools such as chain-saws, concrete breakers, disc cutters, sanders and more.

The condition is also known as Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) as the condition can easily affect the rest of the arm.

Recent research, published in April by Reactec, estimates that 300,000 employees in the UK have advanced symptoms of vibration white finger, whilst 22,500 workers in the north across a range of building disciplines are exposed to hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) on a regular basis.

Adriano D'Ambrosio at Asons Solicitors said: "You have to make sure that the tools and equipment you normally use have been properly maintained in order to reduce vibrations caused by general wear.

"Do not forget to take breaks in between tasks and encourage blood circulation by wearing gloves and exercising your fingers. Prevention is better than needing a cure."

Asons also advise that smokers may have to cope with an even higher risk, as smoking causes blood vessels to constrict and blood flow to reduce. Other drugs that inhibit blood flow should also be avoided, say experts.

Symptons include numbness or tingling feelings in finger-tips, fingers turning white due to restricted blood flow and loss of grip.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:May 31, 2013
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