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Midlands Worker Secures Damages For Vibration White Finger

Alex Shorey from the Birmingham office successfully concluded a claim for a client diagnosed with vibration white finger. The claim settled for £9,500 in compensation.

The client, Mr P from Walsall, developed symptoms consistent with vibration white finger and was diagnosed with the condition in March 2009. His condition had been caused by excessive use of hand held vibrating tools during at work, from the year 2000 onwards.

Mr P worked as a wood machinist in the stairways division of Richard Burbidge Ltd. This stairways division was subsequently acquired by Stairways (Midlands) Limited. Mr P used a variety of hand held vibrating tools including jig saws, orbital sanders routers, moulder, morticer, surfacer, planers and tenoners.

Mr P was never provided with any specific training on using these tools or instruction regarding the risks of developing vibration white finger. His employer also failed to use a job rotation system, in order to minimise the amount of time he spent using the vibrating tools.

Speaking after he received the compensation, Mr P commented:

“Myself and other colleagues have long since been aware of the risks posed by exposure to excessive levels of noise and therefore if adequate information had been provided regarding the risks of exposure to vibration, I have no doubt that we would have sought to address the issue. At the very least I feel my condition could have been prevented”.

Mr P’s compensation was secured by industrial disease specialist Alex Shorey of the Workplace Illness team at the Birmingham office of Irwin Mitchell. Commenting on the claim Alex Shorey said:

“This is a clear case of an employer simply failing to provide adequate training and warnings to employees. Had our client in this case been subject to a programme of health surveillance his condition may have, at the very least, been identified in the early stages and consequently he may have been removed from any such exposure. Instead no action was taken and our client is left with an irreversible condition.

“This case also highlights the need for potential clients to seek legal advice as soon as possible. In this case Mr P was diagnosed in March 2009 although did not approach Irwin Mitchell until early 2012. Given the time constraints that apply to all personal injury claims it is essential that specialist advice is sought as soon as possible”.

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.

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