Rolls Royce Fined After Worker Develops Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Case Highlights Long-Term Impact Of Safety Failings, Expert Warns


By Rob Dixon

Engineering company Rolls Royce has been fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs after one of its workers was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, following exposure to high levels of hand arm vibration.

Allan Thornewill, 55, worked at the company’s site in Derby and regularly cleaned turbine blades with wet blasting cabinets. As part of the work, he had to hold the blades as they were blasted with water, which led to some hand arm vibration.

After reporting concerns about pins and needles and numbness to his line manager, the worker sought medical advice and was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in 2009. He was unable to work for four months, has had four operations on his hands and continues to suffer dexterity and weakness issues.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation found that Rolls Royce had not assessed the vibration risks no control measures were implemented. The company also did not undertake any pre-employment screening on Mr Thornewill.

Mark Lennon, a Birmingham-based legal specialist at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office, represents people who have suffered workplace illness and injury as a result of safety failings by employers.

If you or a loved one has suffered from repetitive strain injuries, such as bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, ulnar neuropathy and vibration white finger caused by conditions at work, our solicitors could help you claim compensation. See our Industrial Disease Claims page for more information.