Steel Worker Forced To Give Up Job After Workplace Injury

Workplace Injury Experts Says Employers Needs To Protect Workers From Hazards

29.10.2013

A steel worker left with no choice but to give up the job he loved after being injured in the workplace has spoken of his ordeal to raise awareness of the dangers of workers being exposed to pro-longed use of vibrating equipment.

James Murray, from Lancing, West Sussex, was employed at Graham Wood Structural Limited as a Steel Erector from 2005 to 2010 and much of his role involved operating a concrete power drill used to drill holes into reinforced walls in order to fix bolts to them.

But after many years of having to use the drill for up to five hours a day– the 27-year-old was diagnosed with vibration injury  leaving him unable to continue in the profession, as he struggles with grip, and is unable to work with power tools.

James instructed expert workplace injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, who helped him gain an admission of responsibility from his former employers earlier this year and have now secured him a substantial undisclosed settlement, just a week before the case was due to go to trial, to cover loss of earnings and for the pain and suffering he has endured.

Chani Dhaliwal, a specialist lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s London office, said: “James suffered a devastating permanent injury at work which could have been prevented if his employers had carried out a risk assessment and assessed the vibration exposure from using the drill.

“The consequences of these injuries have had a devastating effect on James’ life as he is now unable to continue with the work he loved and trained to do.

“After leaving his role at Graham Wood Structural Limited James was very limited to the type of work he could apply for as he was no longer classified as a skilled tradesman because he could not operate vibration machinery. Despite this, James has remained determined to work and has secured various different jobs in an effort to support himself.

“It is disappointing his former employers waited just  a week before the case was due to go to trial before agreeing a settlement but we hope it will now allow James to move forward with his life. We hope that lessons have been learnt by Graham Wood Structural Limited to protect staff who work with vibration tools from suffering permanent injury.”

James added: “The past few years have been incredibly difficult and I have been left with the painful sensation in my hands which cannot be reversed. It is all the more frustrating that my injuries could have been prevented if my employer had listened to my concerns about the drill and the effects it was having on me.

“As a result of the injuries I have suffered, I have struggled to find full time employment as I am no longer classed as a skilled tradesman and I am very limited in the roles I can apply for.

“I hope that by sharing my story it highlights the terrible consequences vibration hand tools can have and it prevents anyone else from suffering like I have.

 

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to workplace injury claims