- Carry out a HAVS risk assessment
- Ensure vibrating tools are adequately maintained
- Provide staff with appropriate personal protective equipment
- Train employees in using the tools safely
- Advise staff of the possible dangers of using equipment that vibrates for too long
- Monitor staff who use vibrating equipment to ensure they aren’t using it for lengthy periods, and implement job rotation if necessary
Regularly using equipment that vibrates such as pneumatic drills can lead to long-term joint, muscle vascular, and nerve damage in the hand, wrist and fingers. Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), in particular, is commonly associated with the repeated use of heavy equipment that vibrates.
Because of the risk posed by such tools, your employer is obliged by law to take steps to keep you safe at work, as per the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations, which came into force in July 2005. Even before this legislation came into force, the dangers associated with vibrating tools had long been known and employers have been under a duty to protect their employees from these risks for decades.
Your employer must:
If your current or previous employer failed to do this, and you have developed Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome after regularly working with a pneumatic drill, you could make a HAVS claim for compensation.
Our Industrial Disease Solicitors may be able to help you prove that your employer was negligent, and enable you to get the medical treatment and compensation you are entitled to receive.
What are the Symptoms of HAVS?
- Numbness and lack of feeling in the finger
- Pins and needles/a tingling sensation in the fingers
- Whitening of the fingers
- Difficulties with grip, dexterity and strength
HAVS symptoms may continue to worsen if you carry on working with heavy, vibrating equipment such as pneumatic drills. A person with HAVS may also develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which leads to a person experiencing a pins and needles sensation in the wrists or fingers and can require surgery known as a carpal tunnel release.
According to the Health and Safety Executive, nearly 2 million people in the UK are at risk of HAVS, which it describes as a “serious and disabling” condition.
How Simpson Millar Can Help You
Our Industrial Disease Solicitors can carry out an investigation to see if your employer could and should have had a safer system of working in place. If our Solicitors believe your employer has been negligent and you’ve been put at risk in the workplace, we may be able to help you claim compensation from their employer's liability insurance policy.
We can also work with specialist medical experts to put together a medical report outlining what rehabilitation and additional treatment may be needed, and how your employment prospects have been affected both now and in the future. These costs along with any past and future loss of earnings may then be included in your compensation claim.
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