A GMB member has received £17,500 in compensation after his shoulder was permanently damaged by using vibrating tools at work.

John Sides, 44, from Barrow in Furness, was using a handheld grinder to remove paint from a floor during his job as a team leader for cleaning products manufacturer Robert McBride Ltd based in Barrow.

He used the vibrating tool for two full days when he began to suffer from shoulder pain.

He severely strained his right shoulder and has been left with permanent symptoms.

No training on how to use grinder

It was the first time he had used the grinder and he wasn’t given any training on how to use it safely.

His injury means he can no longer lift his arm above shoulder height and as a result has difficulty carrying out tasks like painting and decorating.

He has also had to give up his hobby playing darts and was forced to withdraw from the local league he played in.

Following the accident he contacted his union the GMB which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation.

Employer admitted liability for injury

Thompsons was successful in settling the claim out of court after Robert McBride admitted negligence.

Mr Sides said: “When I was asked to remove the paint I thought I was being provided with the correct tool for the job, but after using the grinder for two full days I was in a lot of pain.

“My shoulder still hurts when I lift up my arm and as a result I’m limited in the type of jobs I can do. I’ve also had to give up playing darts at a high level because of the pain.”

Dangerous levels of vibration caused long term injury

Tom Brennan Regional Secretary of the GMB said: “Mr Sides was exposed to dangerous levels of vibration which has resulted in him suffering from a long term injury.

“Had his employer taken more care to give him training on how to use the tool correctly to minimise vibration this accident could have been avoided.”

Paul Morpeth from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Mr Side’s injury impacts on the type of work he is able to do, now and in the future, and the level of compensation reflects this.

“Mr Sides was doing a job which was new to him. A risk assessment should have been carried out and training given before he started the task.”