AWH Wins Client £48,000 for Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome Claim
What Was the Claim?
AWH has recently settled a hand-arm vibration syndrome claim in the sum of £48,000 on behalf of our client, which he developed because of his exposure to vibrating and/or percussive tools and equipment.
Our Client’s HAVS Symptoms
Our client first noticed blanching in his right index and middle fingers around 2011 after swimming in the North Sea. His symptoms subsequently progressed to involve other fingers and then the left hand. He went to see his GP about his symptoms on 31 December 2013. His doctor suggested to him that he might have Raynaud’s phenomenon. The cause of his condition was not discussed with him. It was not until he was shown a video of a hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) sufferer during a health and safety training session in 2017 that he thought that his symptoms might be linked to his history of using vibrating tools. The Defendant’s occupation health physician diagnosed our client with HAVS in April 2017.
Exposure to Vibration Resulting in HAVS Symptoms
The Defendant’s occupational health report noted that ‘vibration is to be avoided so far as is reasonably practicable’ and that ‘if the situation is not improved and he continues to be exposed, the physical risks will potentially worsen which could lead to life-changing issues over time’.
Our client experiences blanching in all 4 fingers of both hands-on exposure to cold. These episodes last for about 15 minutes. In addition, he experiences a numbing and a throbbing, buzzing sensation when the circulation returns. These attacks occur mostly in winter but sometimes in the summer. There is intermittent tingling in the ring and little fingers.
HAVS Preventing Our Client from Carrying Out Daily Tasks
Sometimes, our client has been woken at night by numbness and tingling in his fingers. He finds it difficult to handle tools when outdoors and sometimes has difficulty with tasks requiring fine dexterity, such as tying shoelaces and fastening buttons. Additionally, he has occasionally dropped items because of his symptoms and can’t play outside with his daughter.
As a consequence of his symptoms, our client has had to pay for a window cleaner and for someone to undertake heavier gardening duties, such as using a strimmer. Previously, he would have undertaken those tasks himself.
Our client can no longer use vibrating tools. If he does, his symptoms will worsen. It is likely that his symptoms are now permanent.
Before developing HAVS, our client was an active and strong man who was good at using a variety of power tools. However, due to the condition, he found that he could not carry out a lot of the activities that he loved such as gardening and DIY because of the loss of power in his grip to the extent that he struggled to open jars at home or carry the shopping. The main difficulty for him was accepting the change in the things that he could and couldn’t do and how that affected how he felt about himself.
As a father of a young family, he now has to change his lifestyle because of his employer’s failure to protect him, changing his job to a more office-based role.
Expert Help from Our Industrial Disease Solicitors
With the expert help of our industrial disease solicitor Nimish Patel, the case was settled a week before trial with our client being awarded £48,000.
Starting your Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome Claim
Are you experiencing tingling or numbness in your fingers and arms? Have you used vibratory tools at work, either currently or in the past? If so, you may be dealing with a condition called Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, commonly known as HAVS.
Our team of expert solicitors specialising in HAVS claims can assist you in seeking compensation from your employer if their negligence has resulted in your suffering from hand-arm vibration syndrome.Get in touch
Hear more about the member(s) of our team featured above:
- Nimish Patel Senior Associate Solicitor/Team Manager view profile