Vibration white finger compensation (HAVS) - negligent employer wrongly argued claim was time barred
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Home > News > Road worker receives vibration white finger compensation

12th April 2010

Road worker receives vibration white finger compensation

A road worker for most of his working life, this client asked for our personal injury compensation claim advice when he was diagnosed as suffering with the industrial disease, vibration white finger. Also known as hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) or Raynauds phenomenon, this disease can develop many years after the damage is done.

Limitation period for compensation claims

In this claim for vibration white finger, the defendant, a past employer of our client, had argued that our client was time barred and that he had contributed to his injury. However, our specialist industrial disease lawyers felt that this was a valid claim for vibration white finger compensation.

They established that our client had clearly not contributed to his development of VWF. In addition, as he had not known that he had the disease until relatively recently, the trigger for the three-year limitation period should begin at that point (known as the date of knowledge) rather than the date at which he had been negligently exposed to vibrating tools and suffered the industrial injury.

Vibration white finger symptoms

Using many types of vibrating tools over a number of years, our client's symptoms included cramped fingers like claws, numbness in his fingers, pins and needles on a regular basis, and his thumbs appear white early in the morning. He also experiences considerable difficulty in picking up small items, and any use of vibrating tools quickly brings on a worsening of these symptoms. This means he is unable to continue in this line of work and he will be at a significant disadvantage in the open labour market.

Tools which cause vibration white finger

The tools that our client had used included jack hammers, a wacker plate (used to replace block paving) and stihl saws. The use of stihl saws was a daily occurrence and other tools were used several days a week dependant upon the type of work that our client was involved in at any time.

Breach of regulations

During his employment by the defendant, at no time was our client warned of the dangers of working with vibrating tools, nor was he offered any advice on how to limit the risk of developing an industrial injury. Although the dangers related to this industrial disease were well documented, and systems such as rotating shifts and work patterns have been in place for some time in many organisations, this employer made no effort to minimise the use of vibrating or pneumatic tools.

By failing to ensure the safety of his employee, the defendant had breached both the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and the Provisions of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005.

Court proceedings issued

Although the defendant accepted that they had employed our client, and that they had exposed him to the use of vibrating tools, they denied that the level of exposure was outside the manufacturer's recommendations and argued that they could not therefore have contributed to our client's injury.

It was therefore necessary to issue court proceedings when the defendant's insurers refused to accept liability and negotiate an acceptable settlement. However, before the trial date, our client's specialist vibration white finger representative was able to negotiate £10,000 in vibration white finger compensation, which the client was able to accept.

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.

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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