Vibration at Work Can Cause Serious Injuries. Here’s How You Can Recover
Some work-related injuries are easy to predict and immediately known. A fall or a motor vehicle accident, for example, may quickly result in an easily identifiable injury. However, you may not be able to point to a single moment in time when other workplace injuries—such as those caused by the vibration of machinery and equipment—occur. Instead, vibration injuries are cumulative, and it may take months or years for symptoms to develop.
What Is a Vibration Injury?
A vibration injury typically occurs when a worker is exposed to significant vibrations over a period of time. There is no specific threshold of vibration below which every worker is safe and above which every worker is at risk. The exact injuries that result depend on the levels of vibration, the part of the body that is contact with that vibration, and the individual’s sensitivity to vibration.
Some examples of vibration injuries include:
- Hand-arm vibration exposure. This can result in significant injuries to the fingers and hands. Workers who suffer from hand-arm vibration exposure may develop carpal tunnel syndrome or may suffer other injuries. Symptoms of hand-arm vibration injuries include pain, loss of sensation, whitening of fingers when they are exposed to cold temperatures, a weakened grip, and bone cysts.
- Whole-body vibration. This can result in debilitating back pain, circulatory problems, respiratory issues, and bowel problems. Symptoms of whole body vibration include fatigue, headaches, stomach issues, and loss of balance.
Vibration can disrupt the body’s vascular and nervous systems. The result can be significant pain and, in some cases, amputation if cells die because of lack of oxygen and nutrients.
Are You at Risk?
Vibration is an occupational hazard in many different industries. Anyone who workers with power tools or motor vehicles may be at risk, including people in the following industries:
- Metal working and foundries.
- Logging, lumber, and woodworking.
- Furniture manufacturing.
- Truck and auto manufacturing.
Anyone who suffers a vibration injury in one of these or in any other industry may be able to recover for the harm they have suffered.
How Will You Recover?
It is important to report your injury to your employer and to see a doctor as soon as possible. After a medical diagnosis is made, your recovery may include prescription medications, surgeries, and other treatment—some of which may be expensive.
Do not count on your employer or your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company to provide you with a fair recovery for your injuries. Instead, talk to an experienced work injury lawyer today to make sure that you get the fair and full recovery that you deserve. Call attorney Steve Lee today for more information.