Hand Arm Vibration Sufferer Speaks Out To Raise Awareness Of The Condition

Expert Workplace Injury Lawyers Urge Companies To Follow Guidelines To Protect Workers


A young construction worker, who is blighted by daily attacks of numbness and tingling in his hands and fingers from excessive use of hand held vibrating tools with his former employer, has spoken out for the first time about his debilitating condition.

Hywel Jones, from Bargoed, Mid Glamorgan, suffers Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) after operating a variety of hand-held vibrating tools when he worked for Aggregate Industries UK Limited between 2004 and 2011 in various locations in the South of England.

The 28-year-old instructed specialist workplace injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the working conditions at Aggregate Industries UK and they have now secured him a £13,000 settlement from his former employers for his pain, suffering and because he can no longer carry out the same level of manual work.

Hywel used a variety of hand held tools during his time at Aggregate Industries, including air breakers and Stihl saws as part of his job resurfacing roads. Hywel maintains that for the majority of his employment, Aggregate did not properly monitor, reduce or rotate his use of the tools and that it was only towards the end of his employment at the company, where they introduced time sheets in an attempt to log the amount of time each worker spent using the equipment.

Hywel, who works at another construction company now but cannot now use vibrating tools, said: “I had always enjoyed my work but when I was diagnosed with the condition at such a young age it was hard not to be angry because ultimately, I feel my employer should have done more to monitor my use of the tools, reduce my vibration exposure and educate me about the risk of developing HAVS. 

“When I started with the company in 2004 as a 19 year old, it was normal in the industry for the youngest in the team to perform the heavier work so in those days especially, I could be using an air breaker for most of a shift.

“I struggle with the symptoms in my hand quite frequently. I have tingling and numbness in all fingers in both my hands. My symptoms are more severe on my right hand than on the left and are at their worst in cold and wet conditions. I have a lot of difficulty with fine tasks and handling small items like coins, buttons and cutlery. I love to play rugby but I really struggle playing in the colder months due to problems with handling as a result of my condition, which I find very frustrating.

“I have been told my HAVS is permanent and irreversible and I am restricted in my current job from using handheld tools. I am only 28 years old and to have my working ability restricted at such an early age is difficult and does leave me worried about the future. I just hope that by speaking out about what happened to me, it acts as a warning to all employers about the importance of protecting staff from HAVS.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mark Lennon and Irwin Mitchell solicitors for their professional and efficient service. Communication has been top class and I will recommend him to anyone needing a professional and reliable solicitor to fight their case with dedication.”

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.