Leading trade union Amicus has secured £20,000 compensation from GE Engine Aircraft Services for a member from Porthcawl who is now suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) as a result of exposure to vibrating tools. The compensation was secured by Amicus’ free legal help scheme.

From 1976 to 2000, Michael Jones worked as an aircraft engineer at GE Engine Aircraft Services near Caerphilly, where he refurbished and repaired large jet engines mainly for commercial airliners.

Mr Jones, aged 63, explains: “I’ve been diagnosed with CTS as a result of exposure to vibrating tools. CTS is caused by compression of a key nerve in the wrist. My symptoms started gradually, with pain, weakness and numbness in my hand and wrist. Two operations have failed to make any improvement. I am now left with a lot of pain and tingling and I find it difficult to grasp small objects or perform other everyday manual tasks.”

Catherine Speight, regional secretary for Amicus, comments: “Michael Jones’ case demonstrates that if an employer continues to expose an employee to vibration, noise or substance and there is an exacerbation or onset of new injury which is attributable to further exposure, then the employee has the right to further compensation!”

John Watkins from Thompsons Solicitors in South Wales explains: “The Carpal Tunnel Syndrome which Michael Jones is now suffering has arisen as a result of exposure to vibration. In 1992, Mr Jones was diagnosed with Vibration White Finger, a similar condition caused by working with vibrating machinery. In 1992 his employers’ medical experts advised his employer that he should not be exposed to further vibration. His employer showed a lack of awareness of the potential implications of this condition and continued to employ him in areas where he was exposed to further vibration and repetitive cycle work. As a result, Mr Jones went on to develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This condition has left him permanently disabled and caused him to take early retirement.”