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Home > News > Vibration white finger injury caused through breach of regulations

22nd December 2008

Vibration white finger injury caused through breach of regulations

A breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1992 and 1998 resulted in our client developing the industrial disease, vibration white finger (VWF), or HAVS (Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome).

Contrary to these regulations, our client had not been given any warnings about the possible risks to workers using vibrating tools. Neither had our client’s employer provided a safe system of working to minimise his use of these tools, a further breach of the regulations.

This client asked for our personal injury compensation claim advice in pursuing a vibration white finger claim against his employer for his industrial injury.

Use of vibrating tools

Our client had worked for the same employer for almost 15 years and during that time his duties had included the use of pneumatic and power tools such as a road breaker or jackhammer, and a stihl saw.

His job required him to use these vibrating tools on a daily basis, often for several hours at a time.

Symptoms of HAVS or vibration white finger

At first, our client had experienced numbness and tingling in the tips of his fingers, typical signs of this industrial disease.

For some time he had assumed these symptoms were caused by his working with wet gloves. However, when he confided in colleagues about his concerns, they had suggested that it might be vibration white finger, and this subsequently was confirmed.

Our client has been left with a permanent injury, which renders him unable to continue working with power or pneumatic tools. This will inevitably cause him to be at a disadvantage in the future on the open labour market.

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations

These regulations are designed to protect employees against known hazards in the workplace, and to provide a framework for employers to ensure risks are minimised if not completely removed. In this instance, our client’s employers, the defendant, had breached these regulations in several ways.

Contrary to the regulations, his employer had failed to give adequate instructions in the safe use of such tools. They had also failed to warn our client adequately of the dangers of developing HAVS from the use of vibrating tools, particularly the chronic nature of vibration white finger or its potential irreversibility.

No risk assessment had been carried out by the defendant to assess the potential risks to our client. Had they done so this may have suggested steps that could have been introduced to eliminate or reduce the risk of developing HAVS. These can often include a system of rotation, which reduces the time spent by individuals working with power or pneumatic tools.

Vibration White Finger Compensation

Our specialist industrial injury lawyers brought this claim under the breach of regulations.

Although the defendant admitted legal responsibility for our client’s industrial injury, they refused to offer adequate compensation. Clear Answers’ personal injury lawyers were therefore forced to issue court proceedings in order to secure satisfactory industrial disease compensation for our client.

However, shortly after commencing court proceedings, the defendant made an offer of over £17,000 in personal injury compensation for our client’s vibration white finger injury, and this was accepted.

Vibration White Finger Compensation Claims

If you have developed an industrial disease as a result of negligence by an employer, our teams of experts are waiting to help you, should you decide to instruct us to represent you in your claim. Clear Answers’ lawyers have a reputation for obtaining the maximum personal injury compensation for people who suffer from an industrial disease such as vibration white finger or hand arm vibration syndrome.

We will be happy to provide you with expert legal advice, to answer any questions you may have regarding your industrial disease claim, and to talk you through the claims process in plain English.

Please ring us on 0800 783 9019 and speak to one of our advisers if you or a family member is suffering or has suffered from an industrial disease, or any type of personal injury. Alternatively, a representative will contact you as soon as possible if you complete one of our on-line compensation claim forms.

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