How Do I Claim for HAVS?

Deborah Krelle
Deborah Krelle
Partner, Head of Industrial Disease

You can claim compensation for Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) if it can be proven that your employer regularly exposed you to a harmful level of vibration at work.

HAVS is often the consequence of repeatedly using handheld vibrating tools such as pneumatic drills, jackhammers and grinders, or using vibrating equipment that’s been poorly maintained. So you may have a claim if your employer didn’t take steps to reduce the risk of suffering an HAVS injury.

Our Industrial Disease Solicitors are specialists in helping people who are suffering with HAVS get the compensation they’re entitled to. For example:

For a free consultation and legal advice get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to discuss your situation. Ask if we can deal with your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.

Call us on 0808 239 3227 or request a callback

Anyone who uses handheld vibrating tools, such as road workers and people working in construction, heavy engineering, pallet making and foundries, are at risk of HAVS if employers fail to take the proper precautions.

These include:

  • Carrying out a full risk assessment
  • Providing employees with adequately maintained tools
  • Warning members of staff about the potential health risks they pose
  • Introducing safe working practices, such as rotating tasks, monitoring employees who use vibrating equipment and ensuring staff take adequate breaks

Your employer should be aware of the risks posed by the excessive use of vibrating power tools and have taken steps to mitigate or eliminate them as much as possible.

So if you’ve developed HAVS as a result of your working conditions and believe your employer didn’t do enough to keep you safe, you could be entitled to claim compensation from you employers’ insurer.

If we take on your HAVS claim, we’ll carry out a full investigation to establish what kind of working conditions you’ve been exposed to. This may include collecting statements from colleagues, as they could be able to back up your account of events, and may have similar injuries themselves.

Our Industrial Disease Solicitors will also arrange for you to have an independent medical assessment. The expert examining you will then compile a report detailing your condition and medical outlook. With this information, we can identify what care and rehabilitation you may need, and include the cost of this in our valuation of your claim.

Your employer may have Employer’s Liability Insurance in place, so if your claim is successful, the company’s insurer would pay you compensation, rather than the company itself.

For details on how much an HAVS claim could be valued at, see How Much Compensation for Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome?

We should stress that there are strict time limits on making a compensation claim for HAVS. If you decide to take legal action, you should bring your claim within 3 years of the date you found out you were suffering with Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome.

Symptoms of HAVS

A person may have developed HAVS if they start showing any the following symptoms:

  • Numbness and tingling sensations in the fingers
  • Fingertips going white in the cold and wet, followed by a painful recovery
  • Loss of strength in the hands
  • Reduced dexterity and grip

If no action is taken when these warning signs start to appear, the numbness can become permanent and affect more fingers. As a result, a person with HAVS could struggle with tasks that require dexterity, such as handling nails and buttons. They may also go on to develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) too.

You should speak to your GP as soon as you begin showing any potential symptoms of HAVS and let your employer know if you have any concerns about working with vibrating tools or machinery.

For free legal advice call our Industrial Disease Solicitors

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