01 September 2015
Worker Awarded £141,000 for HAVS Power Tools Injury
A former road worker received £141,000 following damage to his hands caused by power tools.
The labourer was employed as a surface reinstator, which meant he followed behind teams who replaced and installed utilities and services reinstating roads and footpaths.
He was never warned about the dangers of repeated use of the kinds of vibrating power tools that he regularly used and had no idea that he was at risk.
He was diagnosed with Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), which has had a severe impact on his life. You may assume such work injuries are suffered by older people, following a long career involving the repeated use of power tools but, in this case, the former road worker is in his 30s, and so this lasting damage to his hands will cause future day-to-day difficulties.
Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome is caused by the regular use of vibrating hand-held tools, such as pneumatic drills. This can lead to tingling, numbness and whiteness in the fingers - the classic HAVS symptoms. Once the condition has developed, little can be done to medically treat it.
Slater and Gordon Senior Associate, Christopher Briggs, commented, “It’s the little things we all take for granted that my client now finds difficult – fastening shirt buttons or tying his shoelaces, picking up small objects from the floor. He regularly drops cups and glasses because of the lack of sensation in his fingers. Not only is all this immensely frustrating and upsetting, but it has also affected his ability to work in the future as he can no longer do the same job.
“Employers needed to do more to educate themselves and their staff. It’s alarming that so many people are still coming forward with this type of injury. There are clear guidelines that employers should follow to protect their workforce – like carrying out regular health checks and proper risk assessments – but so often they aren’t communicated properly or done once then forgotten about. I think there’s a general lack of understanding and people need to be made more aware.”
For more information on how Slater and Gordon Lawyers helped to claim compensation, see the full case study here.
If you have been diagnosed with Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome as a result of past and present working conditions, our specialist personal injury lawyers can help you to pursue a compensation claim.
For a free consultation call Slater and Gordon Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we'll be happy to help you.