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Driller Wins £38,000 After HAVS Diagnosis

A man who worked with drilling machinery for many years has secured compensation after he developed hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS).

From 1998 until 2004 he had worked in road construction, using a pneumatic drill for several hours at a time. He then worked as a driller helping to demolish prisons.

He first experienced symptoms of HAVS in 2008, when he began to suffer from pins and needles. He went on to develop whiteness in his fingers as well as other common symptoms of the disease. It was only in 2013 that he was given training in the safe use of vibrating machinery – around the same time that he was diagnosed with HAVS. The disease, also known as vibration white finger, is caused by use of vibrating tools over an extended period.

The man contacted solicitors with a view to making a personal injury claim, and has now secured a settlement of £38,000. He still works for the firm which employed him before his diagnosis but, as a result of his condition, his job no longer involves using vibrating machinery. He continues to experience pain, especially in cold weather, and the disease interferes with his ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.

For further information on this topic, see the Health and Safety Executive's website.

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Employers have a duty to ensure that the correct health and safety measures are in place to protect their employees against damage caused by vibrating machinery. Depending on the level of risk involved, they may need to use an action plan to check and control levels of exposure. This might include effective training, ensuring the regular maintenance of equipment and the continuous monitoring of health levels.

If you have been injured or become ill as a result of practices in your workplace, we can advise you on the possibility of claiming compensation.

Although correct at the time of publication, the contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Please contact us for the latest legal position.