Plater receives more compensation after further exposure to vibrating tools11 January 2012
Exposed to vibrating tools at work
A plater who suffered permanent damage to his hands after he was exposed to vibrating tools at work has received £12,000 in compensation.
The 54-year-old from Doncaster developed painful Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) and Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) after working with vibrating machinery for 25 years.
Both conditions can affect people who use hand-held vibrating power tools over a number of years.
He was first diagnosed with HAVS in 2003 and received £4,500 in compensation for the condition. Over subsequent years his employers continued to fail to protect him from excessive exposure and his condition worsened.
Thompsons Solicitors made claim for compensation
The HAVS began to spread to his palms and he started to suffer from loss of dexterity in his fingers and developed CTS.
By 2008 his hands became so bad he needed surgery to treat the CTS on his left hand. He is awaiting an operation on his right hand.
He still works for the firm but must monitor the type of tools he uses.
Following his diagnosis of CTS he contacted his trade union, the GMB, which instructed its lawyers, Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation.
The employer did not admit liability but settled the claim out of court.
HAVS is a well known risk for workers exposed to excessive levels of vibration from tools
The GMB member said: “When I began to suffer from loss of dexterity I had no idea what Carpal Tunnel was. I thought it was my HAVS getting worse. When my GP said it was likely that my work was causing the CTS I got in touch with the GMB as I knew that their legal services would be able to help me.
“Thompsons has been great helping me to claim for the worsening of my HAVS and the onset of CTS.”
Tim Roache, regional secretary at the GMB added: “Any employer which has members of staff using vibrating tools must have a policy in place to ensure they are monitored and do not get exposed to excessive use. The fact that this member had already been diagnosed with HAVS and then was continually put in a position where he was using vibrating tools excessively is unacceptable.”
Nicola Shepherdson from Thompsons Solicitors said: “HAVS is a well known risk for workers exposed to excessive levels of vibration from tools. This employer has no excuse for our client developing not one, but two conditions, as a result of them failing to monitor his working conditions.”
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