Increasing Number Of Workers Suffering From Vibration Induced Injuries

Research Sheds Light On Extent Of Issue


Occupational health research carried out on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) continues to show worrying increases in the number of workers being diagnosed with vibration related symptoms.

Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), which is the collective name given to conditions associated with exposure to hand transmitted vibration, accounts for the symptoms experienced by more than 250,000 people in the UK alone.

Further, statistics show that over 14,000 applications have been made to the Department for Work and Pensions across the last decade in connection with claims for Industrial Injuries Benefits.

As it stands there is no treatment available to cure symptoms of HAVS. This makes identifying the early signs or symptoms and minimising exposure to hand transmitted vibration all the more important.

Existing occupational health research encourages workers to seek medical advice in circumstances where a sensation of tingling or numbness occurs in the hands.

Expert Opinion
Like many occupational diseases hand-arm vibration syndrome is potentially avoidable by ensuring adequate workplace risk assessments and control. Equally systems of health surveillance are often crucial in identifying the early signs and preventing the development of the condition.

"Through our work recovering damages for those affected by the symptoms of HAVS, we see how these symptoms all too often have devastating effects on the lives of hard working people, affecting both their capability to work and undertake even the most straightforward of household chores.

"The law now provides strict guidelines concerning vibration exposure and really there is no excuse for an employer who has simply failed to assess the risks.

"Unfortunately we see far too many clients who have been left to work with vibratory tools for long periods of time without any regard given to their welfare. Many clients simply put the early symptoms of fatigue and numbness in their hands, down to a hard day’s work.

"Even in more severe cases where there is a loss of grip strength or evidence of whitening in the end of the fingers, prompt medical and legal advice is key. Delays can prove problematic given the strict time limits which apply to personal injury claims and consequently we would urge any workers who may be suffering from these symptoms to contact us as soon as possible."
Alex Shorey, Solicitor