Vibration white finger compensation (HAVS) - highways worker negligently exposed by employer
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Home > News > Claim for vibration white finger compensation succeeds

7th March 2011

Claim for vibration white finger compensation succeeds

When he received the devastating diagnosis that he was suffering from the industrial disease vibration white finger, this highways worker asked for our compensation claim advice on bringing a claim for personal injury compensation.

The defendant's insurers refused to negotiate an acceptable settlement and our specialist occupational disease lawyers were forced to issue court proceedings. The insurer's also refused an opportunity of an early settlement and the case proceeded to the hearing, where the judge took into account that our client had attempted to settle and awarded him an additional sum in interest on his compensation.

We were able to secure over £20,000 in occupational disease compensation.

Date of knowledge for a vibration white finger claim

Vibration white finger is a condition that is often not diagnosed until many years after the circumstances causing the disease were in place.

This was the case in this claim for vibration white finger compensation, brought by a ganger who, when the symptoms began to show, was thought to be suffering from other conditions before the correct diagnosis was made.

The time that had elapsed was more than three years from the date when the negligent practices were in place but in such cases as VWF, the three-year limitation period for bringing a claim does not begin until the date of knowledge, the date when our client first thought, or ought to have thought, that the symptoms were being caused by his work.

Highways worker diagnosed with vibration white finger

Our client had been exposed to excessive vibration whilst working in a highways department where he used a wide range of vibrating tools, including rock drills, pavement breakers or jack hammers, wackers, rollers vibrating plate and Stihl saws.

As a result of excessive use of these tools, our client developed the occupational disease, hand arm vibration syndrome (VWF) in both hands. His symptoms included numbness and tingling in his fingers, with a loss of sensitivity in some fingers. Initially, he would experience the symptoms whilst using the tools, and they would disappear shortly after stopping. However, over time, the length of time taken for the symptoms to disappear became longer until they became a permanent condition. The symptoms are worse during the morning, particularly when cold, and his sleep is frequently disturbed due to the pins and needles he experiences at night.

Breach of regulations

Unaware that his symptoms were being caused by his exposure to vibrating tools, our client had received no warnings about the dangers of excessive use of vibrating tools until shortly before he was diagnosed.

Nor had his employer taken any steps to minimise the risks of developing hand arm vibration syndrome, although these practical steps had been known for many years.

Breaches of several regulations, including the Personal and Protective Equipment Regulations, The Work Equipment Regulations 1992, the Construction (Working Places) Regulations 1996, had led to our client's development of this crippling occupational disease, leaving him permanently handicapped in the open labour market.

Making a vibration white finger compensation claim

If you have developed an occupational 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.

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 or occupational 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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