Am I Entitled to Compensation for HAVS?
HAVS can be the result of repeatedly using handheld tools that vibrate, such as drills, grinders, needle guns and jackhammers. So if you’re frequently using this type of equipment as part of your job, it’s your employer’s responsibility to ensure that it is well-maintained.
Furthermore, your employer should ensure every member of staff is aware of the dangers that come with using vibrating equipment, and give warnings about the potential health risks that come with using them for extended periods. Employers must also carry out a HAVS risk assessment, and make sure that any member of staff who uses vibrating equipment is monitored and allowed to take sufficient breaks.
If an employer hasn’t taken any of these measures and you’ve developed symptoms of HAVS, you may be entitled to compensation.
What are the Symptoms of HAVS?
Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome affects the nerves, so a person with a HAVS condition can experience a tingling sensation and numbness in one or more fingers. In many cases, the symptoms can be mild and only affect a person’s fingertips, but in more severe cases, a person may feel numbness further down their fingers.
A person with severe HAVS may also have problems with their grip strength and dexterity, to the point where it can impact on their ability to carry out everyday tasks at work.
In addition, somebody with HAVs may experience vascular symptoms, known as Raynaud’s phenomenon, in which their fingers turn white in cold conditions. An attack can typically last anything from 5 minutes to an hour, and a person may feel some tingling and discomfort when their fingers are returning to normal.
Our team of specialist Industrial Disease Solicitors offer free legal advice if you’ve begun showing HAVS symptoms and have worked with vibrating tools in the workplace.
We can look at your job and your working processes, as well as what steps your employer did or didn’t take to keep you safe from injury. If we can prove that your employer was negligent, you may be able to claim compensation and access the rehabilitation support you need.