A Dorset man who developed the industrial disease Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome has received £16,000 in compensation with backing from Unite Legal Services

54-year-old Mark Meredith developed pain and tingling in his hands from repeated use of vibrating machinery while working at the Poole-based yacht manufacturer, Sunseeker.

“I’ve had treatment but I could need more in the future. Fortunately my settlement means that I am financially secure to cover this cost, thanks to the hard work of Unite Legal Services and Thompsons Solicitors.”

Mark Meredith, Thompsons Solicitors’ industrial disease client

For ten years prior to the diagnosis of his condition, Mark had regularly used a vibrating hand-held device that polished large pieces of metal. He used the machinery for up to eight hours a day, despite an assessment that advised it shouldn’t be used for more than an hour and a half a day.

Mark was told to use the polisher with his arms outstretched, which caused pain to his wrists, however, he later found out that the device was meant to rest on a flat surface. 

Since developing Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, Mark’s job has changed as he can no longer use the polisher. He continues to suffer tingling in his fingers and has reduced grip. 

He contacted Unite Legal Services and instructed industrial disease specialists Thompsons Solicitors to make a personal injury compensation claim. Mark said: “Before I told my employer about the pain, I was regularly doing two and a half hours overtime every day, but since I was taken off the hand-held polisher, the overtime has virtually disappeared. I feel like Sunseeker is punishing me for suffering an injury that wasn’t my fault.

“I hope to work for many more years, but I’m now really restricted in what I can do and, as a result, my employment options are limited. I’ve had treatment but I could need more in the future. Fortunately my settlement means that I am financially secure to cover this cost, thanks to the hard work of Unite Legal Services and Thompsons Solicitors.”

Stuart Davies, Regional Legal Officer from Unite the union, said: “Regular monitoring of machinery and a job rotation system could have prevented our member developing this painful injury. Instead, at just 54 years of age, it is unlikely that Mark’s symptoms will ease.

“We fought his case and ensured 100 per cent of the compensation was awarded to Mark, without any deductions. No one should suffer an avoidable injury at the hands of their employer and Unite is proud to represent members who have been let down by their employers.”