chapter  8
8 Pages

Hand–arm vibration syndrome

Hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) is the preferred name for the condition

caused by prolonged exposure of the hand-arm system to mechanical vibration.

It has three components: vascular, neurological and musculoskeletal. The vascu-

lar component is the most familiar, and this component is sometimes known as

vibration white finger or VWF. The term VWF is in fact sometimes misleadingly

used to refer to hand-arm vibration syndrome as a whole. Other names have also

been used in the past for the vascular component; ‘Raynaud’s phenomenon of

occupational origin’ is a precise but long-winded term, while names used in

specific trades include ‘dead finger’ and ‘grinder’s cramp’.