Vibration White Finger Compensation Claims & Settlement Values

20 questions have been answered on this subject - ask us your question

Vibration white finger (VWF) is a very painful condition caused by the regular and extended use of industrial vibrating tools. When not restricted to the fingers, the condition may also be known as hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). If you are suffering from either you may be eligible to claim compensation.

Table of contents

What is vibration white finger?

Vibration white finger is a repetitive strain injury affecting the nerves, tendons, blood vessels and joints of the forearm, wrist and hand. The effects can be long lasting and cause extreme pain. Symptoms can be so severe that someone suffering from VWF is left unable to properly use their hands, or perform delicate tasks that require close control or good dexterity. Whilst the symptoms can often be debilitating and leave workers unable to work, they can also be milder. In any event, the access to pursuing a claim for compensation remains available.

The most common symptoms affecting people suffering with vibration white finger or hand arm vibration syndrome are:

  • Aches and pains in the lower arm and hands
  • Tingling or numbness in the fingers. Usually in the tip but can also be from tip to base of finger. The tingling pain can become extremely painful.
  • Whiteness of the finger starting at the tip spreading down to the palm of the hand.
  • Intense redness to the tips of the finger.
  • Loss of grip, sometimes with substantial loss of dexterity to the fingers making fine manual tasks difficult to complete, such as buttoning a shirt or opening a packet.

What tools cause VWF or HAVS?

The tools associated with causing vibration white finger are often used in heavy industry such as engineering, manufacturing plants and construction sites. Use of a pneumatic drill is one common example that leads to this type of injury.

Evidence shows that the weight or strength of a vibrating tool does not give any indication as to whether or not it will cause a VWF or HAVS industrial injury. Indeed, any size or speed of vibrating tool can cause damage to nerves by way of a repetitive strain injury if they are used or handled incorrectly.

Workers using such tools should take regular breaks or rotate between different jobs in order to avoid the overuse of vibratory equipment. As with all work injuries, if you’re getting hurt or feeling the symptoms of vibration white finger, you have a legal right to seek rest and removal of the cause.

Employer responsibilities to prevent vibration white finger

Employers tasking workers with the use of vibratory tools have a responsibility to ensure that they are provided with training and personal protective equipment to minimise risk of injury. Most take the well-being and safety of their staff very seriously, however, not all provide workers with the correct tools, training or support, and this can lead to a claim being made.

According to the Health & Safety Executive, employers ‘must assess and identify measures to eliminate or reduce risks from exposure to hand-arm vibration so that they can protect their employees from risks to their health’.

Best practice indicates that where required, employers of staff using vibratory equipment must ensure that:

  • Control measures to reduce vibration are properly applied
  • They provide information, training and health surveillance

Employers must review the work and use of tools that employees are undertaking if anything changes that may affect exposure to vibration. Failure to take such action and provide protection to employees from the risk of injury is likely to be seen as employer negligence and could indicate that you have a strong prospect of succeeding with a claim for compensation.

How claiming compensation will help

Whether your vibration white finger symptoms have caused you to be unable to work and therefore lose income, or simply left you suffering from nagging ongoing discomfort, there are many benefits to successfully pursuing a claim for compensation.

If successful, your settlement will cover the pain and distress of the injury and include special damages to recover any lost wages, medical costs or expenses you have incurred. You may also be able to access specialist rehabilitation therapies to speed your recovery.

Vibration white finger compensation amounts

Claim values are assessed on the extent of symptoms and their impact, taking into account age, the number of fingers affected, the pain, impaired grip and dexterity, and the effect on work and home life. The figures quoted below are based on the Judicial College guidelines and accurate at the time of publication. Of course, people can also claim special damages on top of these sums if they have suffered a loss of income in the past or are unable to work in the future.

Severity of injuryCompensation amount
Most serious - persisting bilateral symptoms in a younger person£30k - £36k
Serious VWF injury with impact on work and domestic activity£16k - £30k
Moderate, with some changes in working practice£8k - £16k
Minor, with occasional symptoms in only a few fingers£3k - £8k

Start your claim

We know your rights and have expert trained staff on hand ready to answer any queries you may have regarding vibration white finger claims. We offer a simple and easy to understand process and will help you throughout the claim should you need assistance.

Direct2Compensation work with expert personal injury solicitors who will ensure that any settlement you receive is appropriate for the level of injury you have sustained, and we’ll also recover any loss of income and expenses that you have incurred as a result.

Our No Win No Fee service affords you the opportunity to pursue your claim safe in the knowledge that if for some reason, your claim does not succeed you will not have to pay any costs.

With Direct2Compensation, starting your claim for VWF compensation couldn’t be easier. You can call our friendly and helpful staff on 01225 430285 or get your claim started online today. We take pride in making sure that you feel understood and look forward to helping you make your claim.

20 questions have been answered on this subject - ask us your question

Leave a comment or question

Please note we can only deal with claims within the UK legal system. Your question will appear once approved and we'll reply as soon as we can. Your email address will not be published, your name will, so feel free just to use a first name.

Comments & Questions

Read on for questions and advice about claiming, plus vwf claim examples...

Can I make a claim against more than one employer?

Ian Morris

In the majority of scenarios, a claim will have one defendant. However, in certain types of claim, there may be more than one party against whom part of the claim is made. This can apply in cases of industrial disease such as vibration white finger or other similar repetitive strain injury claims.


I have vibration white finger, if I start a claim does it affect my current employer? I’ve been in Plumbing and Heating since 1999 but been to a few companies in this time. Thanks.

Ian Morris

Making a claim would not directly impact your current employer as claims for industrial injuries such as the one you have been diagnosed with will be made against the various employers you have worked for relative to the use of equipment that may cause such symptoms.

Our specialist Solicitors would be able to access a database of insurers for the relevant employers and each party would face an element of liability based on the years you worked for them.

If you would like to have a no obligation discussion about your potential claim with our specialist industrial injury Solicitors, please call us on 01225430285.


Hi it is more than 3 years since i was diagnosed with vibration white finger can i still make a claim?

Ian Morris

If you are over the age of 21, you will not be able to make a claim as more than 3 years have passed since you were aware of the condition.


Hi I’ve been working as an industrial cleaner using petrol pressure washers on 8 hour shifts, industrial hoovers that vibrate and bang and 3500psi spray paint guns, floor buffers and normal hoovers for 18months. I did these jobs 7 days a week since leaving the job for a better paid job I’ve noticed pain and discomfort in my fingers and if the temperature drops my hands go white and the pain is unreal. I’ve been working inside since march as working outside was too difficult to cope with the pain so I’ve had to quit a couple of jobs due to this problem. I’ve managed to get a Gp appointment to investigate this issue even at night as i sleep if my hands get cold i wake up with joint pain as if my hands have been crushed. i only left this job that i believe has caused this damage to my hands in march this year, since then I’ve noticed this issue with my hands and I’ve never had any problem with my hands at all.

Ian Morris

Whilst it will be helpful to get a formal diagnosis from your GP, it would appear that you have valid grounds to make a formal claim enquiry with us as it is likely that you have a condition called ‘vibration white finger’ or similar. Thee conditions are commonly associated with repetitive use of heavy vibratory equipment. As such, when employers are tasking staff with performing such duties, they must ensure that the appropriate training is given, the correct PPE is provided and that the work is correctly risk assessed and managed to ensure adequate rotation and breaks from the machinery. It would seem that your former employer has questions to answer in this regard.

Our specialist Solicitors will ensure that your claim is handled correctly and that if successful, you’ll recover compensation for the pain and discomfort caused by the injuries, loss of income related to the condition and that any other losses or costs are recovered too.


My father worked down various coal mines for about 35 + years. Unfortunately over the years leading to his death in 2015 he suffered with his breathing and had a medical where my father got a 98% award for vibration white finger. On his death certificate it shows COPD and bronchopneumonia as the causes of death. Is there any chance my mother could claim or is there a time limit of these sorts of claims?

Ian Morris

Unfortunately, the statute of limitation would have expired on this now. Any claim would need to be made within 3 years of the date at which a diagnosis was made or when the next of kin became aware of the issue.


I have worked in the industrial painting industry since around 1990. all my work involved pneumatic power tools including needle guns and chisels. Also included within my role was industrial shot blasting which i did for over 20 years. The company i worked for during this time has ceased to trade and i now have a different role within the same industry but for a different company, i still have to go out on site and perform inspections and audits along with H&S duties. My problem is that two fingers on both hands, index and middle fingers are extremely painful and white when ever i have to work outside. The pain is unbelievable and my fingers have no feeling to them whatsoever, i lose all use of them and i’m unable to perform the most remediable tasks with either hand. Is this white finger and can i claim?

Ian Morris

The symptoms that you describe certainly seem to indicate that you have vibration white finger (VWF) or a similar nerve problem caused through repetitive use of vibratory power tools. You should seek urgent medical attention and seek a diagnosis from your employer.

To make a personal injury claim for industrial injury conditions such as VWF, HAVS or another repetitive strain related injury, a claimant must pursue their claim within 3 years of the onset of symptoms, or the date at which they should have been aware that the symptoms were work related.


I’m wondering if I’m able to make some sort of claim as I’ve got the condition white finger, as I’m getting older I’m not able to work outside as long as I was when I was younger due to weather, the slightest of drop in temperature affects my fingers really bad and affects my grip. I’m a joiner by trade and affects me on a daily basis.

Ian Morris

We can help you to make a compensation claim in this circumstance. The condition you describe, vibration white finger and other industrial injuries like Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) caused by repetitive use of vibratory tools can cause ongoing discomfort and even considerable pain and may impact on the working ability of any person suffering with the symptoms.


I have worked for my current employers for the last 29 years. In 1996 I was diagnosed with vibrating White Finger and HAVS from a company Doctor. I was never made aware of the long term affect these illnesses would have on me in later life. I have learnt this week that my company has not even registered my work related disease with RIDDOR. Can I claim compensation now or am I too late. Did my company have a duty of care to of informed me that I could of claimed at the time and should they of informed RIDDOR of my industrial disease caused by them?

Ian Morris

Unfortunately you are too late to take action and even though you can provide a mitigating reason for the delay in doing anything about making a claim, the statute of limitation for such claims is strictly enforced at 3 years from the date of diagnosis of the symptoms. There is an argument to be made that you have been badly let down by your employer in terms of their handling of your condition and their failure to report your industrial injury to RIDDOR, but that will not allow you to pursue a claim for compensation on a personal injury basis.


Hi my employer has admitted breach of the HAVS law, and I have been tested and confirmed to have been affected in both hands with white finger due to using vibrating tools, I was just wondering where I stood on the matter.

Ian Morris

As you have been diagnosed with HAVS and VWF symptoms you have a right to make a claim for compensation. It is important to act quickly in such matters as the claim limitation period can pre-date, date of diagnosis. Given your employers admittance of negligence with regards to their failings on HAVS regulations, it would appear that you have a valid claim for compensation.


Can you be considered for this if you haven’t been diagnosed by a doctor for this condition?

Ian Morris

If you believe that you are suffering from the symptoms of a repetitive strain injury such as vibration white finger or hand arm vibration syndrome, you will need to have a diagnosis from your Doctor or health professional in order to succeed with a claim against a former employer.

It is really important that you seek medical attention at the earliest opportunity as the strict 3-year claim limitation period applies. This will begin from the date where the first obvious symptoms were reported or noticed by the claimant.

We would be very happy to offer further assistance to you if you have any further queries, but at this stage it would be best to seek medical attention and then return to us for a chat.

Chat with us for friendly, expert advice 01225 430285