An employer has a duty to eliminate or reduce exposure to vibration to as low a level as is reasonably practicable. In doing so, the employer should have assessed any risks in the task concerned. Where the task is found to cause vibration, an employer should provide information and training to the employee concerned, provide regular breaks for the employee or a system of job rotation, provide suitable protective equipment and also introduce health surveillance.
A diagnosis of hand arm vibration syndrome can be difficult for a GP to make as the symptoms can be constitutional (affect different parts of the body). Symptoms include numbness or a tingling sensation to the fingers and in some cases the fingers appear to have whitened. You may be referred to a hospital by your GP for a series of tests, such as nerve conduction studies to rule out any constitutional reason for the symptoms and to confirm a diagnosis.
The type of machinery used and the length of time used per day or week will be crucial in establishing whether or not vibration white finger could have been foreseen by an employer.
If an employer is found to have been negligent, or breached a duty of care, you may be entitled to claim compensation for the injury.
On top of this, we can recover financial expenses that you have reasonably incurred as a result of the vibration white finger, such as:
- loss of earnings
- travel expenses to and from medical appointments
- medical treatment costs
- care and assistance that you receive for certain DIY tasks around the house and garden that you are unable to complete or personal hygiene tasks, or domestic responsibilities that you are no longer able to complete yourself.
A court claim for compensation must be commenced no later than three years after you become aware:
- That you become aware of symptoms
- That the symptoms being significant
- The cause of the symptoms
- Of the identity of the employer (or their current identity)
A claim for compensation regarding this type of claim must be commenced no later than three years from your date of knowledge of the injury including symptoms - NOT from the original exposure which may have caused the injury. The Courts do have power in some cases to extend the time limit but this power cannot and must not be relied on.
A member of our team will be happy to discuss the above with you and how this will impact on your claim.
Funding your claim
If your claim has reasonable prospects of success then we will be happy to act for you on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. We will make enquiries to ensure ‘no win, no fee’ is appropriate to you. We will be happy to discuss other funding options with you.
If you have believe that you are suffering from hand arm vibration syndrome as a result of working conditions, then please contact us immediately. We will be happy to help and provide free initial advice.
There is no obligation to make a claim - you decide whether or not you wish to go ahead.
Poole Alcock’s personal injury department in Cheshire is accredited by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and our expert solicitors include members of the Law Society Personal Injury Accreditation Scheme and APIL Senior Litigators.