Scand J Work Environ Health 1986;12(4):400-401    pdf

Administrative and judicial control of the hand-arm vibration syndrome in Japan

by Fukui T

The article reviews the administrative and judicial stand on the hand-arm vibration syndrome in Japan and the controversy that has accompanied the topic over the years. As an occupational disease, caused by vibrating tools, the syndrome has officially evolved from a vagueentity comprisedof neuritis and relevant diseases to that of a peripheral circulatory or neurologicalor motor-organ disorder involvingthe fingers, hands, forearms, etc. However, even though patients sufferingfrom vibration diseasetoday receive substantialbenefits, there has been muchcontroversy about the extent of responsibility that should be assumed by the employer. This controversy is illustrated by a recent court case in which the plaintiffs, patients with vibration disease, first won considerable compensation from their employer, only to have the case overturned in a higher court ruling. It is urged that acceptableinternational guidelines and criteria be established for the legalcontrol, treatment, and prevention
of the hand-arm vibration syndrome.