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Home > News > Vibration white finger compensation after rejecting initial offer

20th February 2012

Vibration white finger compensation after rejecting initial offer

Our client, a jointer's mate, had worked for the same organisation for 30 years using road working tools, when he was diagnosed with the occupational disease, vibration white finger, or HAVS (Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome).

His employer refused to negotiate an acceptable settlement for our client's injury and suffering, and his future loss of earnings as he was unable to carry out the same kind of work. Our specialist occupational disease lawyers were forced to issue court proceedings, and advised our client to reject an initial offer. Before the trial however, through continued negotiation, we were able to secure £15,000 in VWF compensation.

Negligent exposure to vibrating tools

Although latterly our client had been provided with protective gloves, and advised to limit his use of vibrating tools, for many years before that, his employers have been fully aware of the dangers of over-use of vibrating tools such as those that caused our clients injury. Case law has established that most employers should have been taking steps to reduce the risks of vibration exposure since at least the early 1990s - and in many cases the 1970s. Our experience is that, unfortunately, large numbers of employers ignored the known risks.

Measures have been identified which can help to reduce the risk of developing VWF, or White Finger / Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome. These should including arranging shift patterns to rotate the use of these tools for extended periods, carrying out risk assessments to identify level of use and risk posed, and how to use the tools in a way to minimise the impact of their use. All of these were introduced too late to help our client.

Breach of regulations

Our client's employer, the defendant, had failed to protect him and had therefore breached the Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 and several sections of the Work Equipment Regulations.

Symptoms of HAVS or vibration white finger

Initially, our client had suffered intermittent tingling and numbness, which disappeared when the weather improved. As his condition deteriorated, he noticed that some of his fingers began to go white, and he lost all feeling in them. Eventually he began to suffer bad attacks weekly, with several shorter attacks on a regular daily basis.

During a routine visit to the occupational health nurse, she checked his hands and referred him to a specialist for further investigation. It was at this point that he received the diagnosis of vibration white finger.

Making a claim for compensation for vibration white finger

Clear Answers' solicitors are able to offer expert legal advice through our dedicated team of personal injury lawyers specialising in industrial disease injuries. They have huge experience of industrial disease claims and will be happy to answer any questions you may have in plain English.

If you or your family have been affected by an industrial disease such as vibration white finger, and would like some advice about how to make a personal injury compensation claim contact Clear Answers' solicitors on 0800 783 9019 or complete one of our online compensation claim forms, and one of our representatives will contact you as soon as possible.

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