£8,500 Compensation for Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome

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Anthony Waddington

Partner, Industrial Disease Claims

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Our Industrial Disease Lawyers were approached by a man in his 30s who had been diagnosed with Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).

He had begun experiencing pins and needles in both hands and visited his GP, who referred him to hospital for further tests. He was told he may be suffering with carpal tunnel syndrome, but test results came back clear for that condition and he was discharged from treatment.

Upon returning to his job as a repair and maintenance worker at a water board, he informed his managers what had happened, but he wasn’t referred to occupational health.

Several years later, he experienced pain in his hands that led to him struggling to sleep at night. His GP referred him to the occupational health department at his employer and it was confirmed he was suffering from HAVS. At that point, he realised this was the result of his use of vibrating equipment at work.

Although he hadn’t had to take any time off work, he has been left with several ongoing symptoms, such as pins and needles and numbness. His hands can also feel painful in cold weather, and he finds many day-to-day tasks more difficult. For instance, he often drops items such as money and keys, cannot always button up shirts and finds it hard to play with and dress his young son.

He remains in employment, but his managers have now taken steps to ensure he doesn’t use vibrating equipment or that any use is kept strictly to a minimum. However, his HAVS symptoms are permanent and though they shouldn’t get worse, he will never fully recover, which could affect his future job prospects.

Our client suffered a lot of damage to his physical health as a result of the vibrating equipment he used at work. He was in a lot of pain and often had pins and needles, and difficulty sleeping.Our client still suffers from these symptoms to this day, so they are evidently long-lasting, which makes the situation even worse. He had to seek a lot of treatment to help him cope better with the symptoms of his condition, and it still hasn’t massively improved yet.

an outstretched hand

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To find out more about how we can help following a Vibration White Finger diagnosis, get in touch with our industrial disease team.

How We Helped

He decided to claim compensation for HAVS and contacted Simpson Millar’s Industrial Disease Solicitors for help. Our Industrial Disease Lawyer felt he had a good chance of success and agreed to represent him.

We assessed his entire working history to find out when and where he may have been exposed to vibrating equipment that led to his HAVS condition. The cause of his HAVS was pinpointed to a previous job at a water company, where he would carry out regular maintenance and repair work using equipment such as jack hammers and saws for prolonged periods every workday.

He later became a technician at another water board, where he continued using vibrating equipment, albeit far less intensely than in his previous job.

We believed there were a number of failings that led to him developing HAVS. For instance:

  • Our client wasn’t given warnings about the use of vibrating equipment, or given training on how to reduce exposure to vibration
  • He wasn’t informed about typical HAVS symptoms and encouraged to report them when they occurred
  • There was no rotation of jobs, so he would be using vibrating tools for at least four hours a day
  • He wasn’t provided with anti-vibration gloves or any other equipment to reduce exposure.

While pursuing the case, we argued that the employers should have foreseen that his job posed a foreseeable risk of him developing a HAVS injury and ensured that a safe and proper system of work was in place. At no time was he subjected to any health surveillance or medical examination to see if he was suffering from HAVS.

The employer should also have made sure that our client had taken regular breaks and that he understood the importance of doing so. Their failure to consider the health and safety risk of prolonged forceful gripping of vibrating tools represented a breach of their statutory duty.

We also arranged for our client to undergo an independent medical assessment, which confirmed that his HAVS symptoms are permanent and he should avoid further use of vibrating tools. We approached the employers’ insurers to claim compensation for his HAVS related pain, injury and sustained financial losses.

We listened to our client’s story so we could understand the damage and long-lasting effects as a result of the vibrating equipment he used at work. We used this to guide him and help him put together a claim for compensation.

We provided our client with thorough and detailed legal advice and guidance at every turn in this case, making sure that we took into account every piece of evidence we could use for his claim, as well as finding new evidence to put forward wherever possible.

Our legal team is well-equipped with the knowledge and expertise to guide our clients in these matters. We can walk you through the whole claims process, to make sure you know what’s happening with your case at every stage, and so you know what’s coming next in your case.

In addition, we offer support throughout the process, acting as an open and transparent resource you can come to at all times with any questions, worries or concerns.

a close up of hands signing a document

The Outcome

We secured an £8,500 out of court compensation settlement for our client.

We were pleased with this outcome, as was our client. After all the hard work, effort and dedication we that went into putting the claim for compensation together for our client, everyone was satisfied with the amount of compensation that was secured, to help our client begin to move on with his life.

This compensation covered the physical damage and pain caused to our client due to using vibrating equipment in the workplace.

We also felt that the sum of compensation adequately covered the long-lasting impact of the vibrating equipment our client had used in the workplace. His career prospects were impacted, as well as his sleep, and he still suffers with HAVS – all of which are examples of the effect the vibrating equipment had had on him.

Of course, as with most claims for compensation, no amount of money will cover the damage caused to life and physical health, which is important to note. But, hopefully the amount of money we settled on will help our client begin his journey of moving on.

Get in Touch

Our Industrial Disease Solicitors know the ins and outs of the law when it comes to cases like this. We know exactly how to form a claim for compensation, to make sure that our clients get the results they need.

We understand how scary and difficult long-lasting conditions like HAVS can be, and how much of an effect they can have on people’s lives, which is why we’re determined to help people who have experienced these conditions due to conditions at work. We are able to guide our clients along the process of making a claim and getting compensation for the damage caused to their physical health as well as their overall life and mental health, as we know these things can have a psychological effect on our clients.

If you have experienced something like this, and you’re still living with the effects of a condition due to your work, you don’t need to be daunted by the idea of claiming compensation from your employers.


Health and Safety Executive. (n.d.). Vibration - Health risks. Retrieved from https://www.hse.gov.uk/mvr/topics/vibration.htm

Patient.info. (n.d.). Hand-arm vibration syndrome. Retrieved from https://patient.info/bones-joints-muscles/hand-arm-vibration-syndrome-leaflet

Griffin, M. J. (2017). Handbook of Human Vibration. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5757815/

Anthony Waddington

Partner, Industrial Disease Claims

Areas of Expertise:
Industrial Disease

Anthony is a Partner in our Industrial Disease department and specialises in high value Industrial Disease Claims.

He joined Simpson Millar as a Paralegal in 2006, and completed his training contract three years later, working in Simpson Millar's Industrial Disease, Civil Litigation and Personal Injury departments.

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