A production worker has secured £7,000 compensation following finger vibration injuries caused by exposure to vibrating tools. Leading trade union GMB has secured the compensation from two former employers of member Mr John Coggon, 52, from Misterton, Doncaster. The compensation was secured through GMB's free legal help scheme via leading personal injury specialists Thompsons Solicitors.

Mr Coggon was diagnosed with Vibration White Finger (VWF) and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) in September 2005 following his employment with National Power from 1977 to 1992 and then at Newells from 1992 to 2002. Despite frequent exposure to vibrating tools, Mr Coggon was never provided with adequate protective equipment or medical surveillance to monitor the safe usage of tools.

VWF is an injury caused in the workplace by the continuous use of vibrating hand-held machinery. Symptons of the injury include pain, tingling and numbness.

Andy Worth, GMB Midland & East Coast Region Regional Secretary, commented: "We're pleased with the outcome of John Coggon's case and hope that other employers will take note and ensure that correct health and safety procedures are in place. Clearly this judgment will assist other union members who have been exposed to vibrating tools for long periods during the course of their employment."

Compensation claim

Mr Coggon’s solicitor, Nicola Harrison, of Thompsons Solicitors, said: "During Mr Coggon’s employment, both employers showed a lack of awareness of the potential implications of this condition and continued to employ Mr Coggon in areas where he was exposed to vibration. As a result he has now moved jobs to where his use of vibrating tools is limited".

"Based on the medical evidence, Mr Coggon was awarded £7,000 for the pain and suffering caused. Awareness of the effect of vibrating tools is now widespread, however we are still seeing cases of employers ignoring the seriousness of this problem for employees."

Mr Coggon said: "I'm grateful to the support of the union and Thompsons Solicitors who helped me to secure compensation. Without their guidance and knowledge, I'm sure that I would not have achieved a successful outcome."