Workers in North Carolina who use vibrating tools are at significant risk of developing Raynaud’s phenomenon, or HAVS. Hand-arm vibration syndrome is one of several repetitive motion injuries that develop progressively, and this one is only reversible if it is diagnosed in the early stages. The disorder can develop over several months, or it can take a few years before it becomes evident.
Victims include workers who operate hand-held equipment that vibrates. This includes powered hammers, chainsaws, jackhammers, grinders, sanders, riveters, compactors, drills and other vibrating tools. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive vibration damages the delicate network of veins and nerves in the hands.
Only by limiting the use of vibrating hand tools can the progress of the disorder be stopped. Initial symptoms include numbness and a sensation of pins and needles in the hands and fingers. If left unaddressed, the syndrome can develop into the loss of effective hand use, and it could even lead to necrosis or gangrene in the fingers. This is a real example of the saying, “prevention is better than cure” because HAVS is not medically reversible.
HAVS is one of the more severe repetitive motion injuries, and early diagnosis and treatment are crucial. Although the North Carolina workers’ compensation system covers occupational injuries and illnesses, proving HAVS to be work-related could be challenging. This is where the skills of an experienced attorney are invaluable. With the help of a workers’ compensation lawyer, the chances of receiving maximum benefits are significantly higher. Benefits will include medical expenses and lost wages, but if the condition caused permanent disability, additional benefits might be awarded.