There are many risks to working in the construction industry, including being around lots of heavy machinery and working at significant heights. Certain tools can also be hazardous to work with or prone to causing serious construction injuries. For example, North Carolina construction workers who use tools that vibrate are at risk for developing an injury called hand-arm vibration syndrome — HAVS.
HAVS is a type of vibration injury that primarily affects victims’ hands and fingers. This type of injury is usually caused by certain equipment or tools that send powerful vibrations through users’ bodies. With continued use over time, these vibrations cause damage to the nerve endings and muscles in workers’ fingers and hands.
Decreased blood flow to fingers causing loss of feeling and decreased function are just two hallmark symptoms of HAVS. Victims’ hands might also turn white or even blue and start throbbing when exposed to cold. No two people will experience the exact same symptoms in precisely the same way, so it is a good idea to be aware of other possible symptoms, including:
- chronic pain
- weakened muscles
The tools that cause HAVS and other vibration injuries are not uncommon either, like handsaws, jackhammers and power drills. Construction workers in North Carolina might work with tools such as these frequently, putting them at high risk for debilitating construction injuries. Fortunately, there are options for those who are hurt at work. Workers’ compensation benefits provide much needed help for things like lost wages, medical bills and more.