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Home > News > Metal plate worker awarded vibration white finger compensation

13th September 2010

Metal plate worker awarded vibration white finger compensation

For all his working life, this client had been engaged in work that required his extensive use of vibrating tools and equipment. Joining straight from school, our client had been employed by the defendant in this claim for vwf compensation, for almost three decades, firstly as an apprentice plater and, once qualified, as a plater.

When he developed vibration white finger (also known as Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome) his employer denied liability. Our specialist occupational disease lawyers fought this claim and were able to secure a five-figure sum in vibration white finger compensation.

Date of knowledge for an occupational disease claim

The normal period for bring a claim for compensation is three years. However, in the case of occupational diseases such as vibration white finger, the law states that this limitation period may not start until the claimant becomes aware (or should have become aware) that they are suffering from this condition, known as the date of knowledge. As the onset of VWF can be gradual and can occur several years after the damage is done, the date of knowledge can often be many years after symptoms are experienced.

Defendant denied liability for our clients condition

Our client had only ever worked for the defendant and their predecessors, so it was clear that there was only one party against whom a claim for negligence could be brought. The defendant continued to deny liability throughout the claim process, although they made several unreasonable offers in an effort to settle the matter out of court.

Vibration white finger injuries

Throughout his prolonged period of employment with the defendant, our client had had occasion to use a wide variety of vibrating tools, including windy compressed air grinders, high cycle grinders, hammers, drills and impact wrenches.

He first noticed symptoms of tingling and numbness in the ends of his fingers several years before he became aware of the cause. He noticed that the symptoms became worse when his hands were exposed to cold, and the symptoms became progressively worse as time went on.

Breach of regulations

For many years, our client had been unaware that his symptoms were being caused by VWF, and had been unaware of the condition known as HAVS. He had received no warnings about the dangers of excessive use of vibrating tools until shortly before he was diagnosed by his employer’s Occupational Health Doctor.

It has been known for many years that there were risks associated with this type of equipment used, and there were many steps that his employer could have taken to minimise those risks to their employees.

These failures on the part of the defendant were the result of breaches of several regulations, including the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, the Work Equipment Regulations 1998, the Construction (Working Places) Regulations 1996, and others.

Court proceedings issued

When the defendant continued to offer unacceptable sums in occupational disease compensation, our specialist occupational disease lawyers were forced to issue court proceedings. The other side finally made an improved offer which the claimant was happy to accept, avoiding the need to go to trial.


Making a vibration white finger compensation claim

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’ personal injury 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.

Strict time limits apply to making a claim for any type of personal injury, so please contact an experienced law firm as soon as you think you may have a claim for compensation. Please visit our section on information and advice for more details on making a personal injury compensation claim.

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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