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What can I do for myself about hand-arm vibration?
It is vital that you tell your supervisor and workplace union rep about any tools or work processes that produce high levels of vibration. You must report any vibration white finger (VWF) symptoms at an early stage. You should also:
- co-operate in new ways of working designed to reduce the risk;
- keep your blood circulation level up while working (e.g. keep warm by wearing gloves and extra clothing if you work in the cold);
- don't smoke, or at least try to cut down, as smoking affects blood flow;
- exercise your hands and fingers;
- use the right tool for the job;
- use minimum necessary force;
- try to avoid long periods of using equipment without a break – short bursts are better;
- keep tools in good working order; and
- do not ignore symptoms. Tell someone about them before they become a problem, including your supervisor, your GP and your union rep. If you visit your GP, explain about the job you do now, or previous work if you believe the symptoms arose then.