Preventing Vibration White Finger

If you use vibrating power tools, such as jackhammers, sanders, chainsaws, and lawnmowers, you may be susceptible to a condition known as vibration white finger (VWF). Those who suffer from VWF experience a loss or change of color in their fingers, tingling, and throbbing.

white finger preventionWhen someone is experiencing an occurrence of VWF, the tiny blood vessels in the fingers constrict (called a vasospasm), causing a reduction of blood supply to the fingers. This lack of blood initially turns the fingers white. After the oxygen in the remaining blood is used up, the fingers turn blue (a condition known as cyanosis). Once the spasms subside, the fingers turn red as oxygen-rich blood rushes back to the fingers.

To help prevent VWF, the following should be considered:

•    Stay warm and dry when operating machinery
•    Take regular breaks
•    If possible, use a tool that has some form of vibration-damping technology
•    Ensure tools are properly maintained (poorly maintained tools may vibrate more or at a different frequency)
•    Ensure that the right tool is used for a particular job (the wrong tool may take longer, exposing you to more vibration)