Our industrial disease lawyers have secured compensation for a man who was exposed to excessive vibration while working as a fitter for a coal mining company.
Mike* started work as an apprentice fitter for Energybuild Limited in August 2009. He only ever worked at their Aberpergwm Colliery in South Wales.
Roughly half of Mike’s work was underground and half was on the surface. While underground, was involved in a variety of mining operations such as moving large stones and drilling into the coal face. On the surface, he maintained and repaired vehicles and made mining equipment in the workshop.
Many of Mike’s tasks involved using tools that exposed both his hands to significant amounts of vibration.
Nonetheless, he was never given any health and safety training or information about the risks involved. He was given some gloves to use at work but they aren’t designed as to protect against vibration.
Mike did go to meetings with Energybuild’s occupation health department once a year, but these were only used to do hearing and lung tests. They didn’t cover any vibration-related tests.
He started to notice problems with his hands just before completing his apprenticeship and qualifying as a fitter in September 2012.
Mike brought these issues up in his appointments with occupational health in May 2012 and May 2013. They didn’t tell him that the symptoms might be related to the vibratory tools he used at work.
His exposure to vibration was never monitored, and he wasn’t given any training regarding the risks of using vibratory tools, either before or after these appointments.
Mike left Energybuild in 2014 to work for another company. The occupational health team there took off him vibratory tools altogether when they heard that he already had problems with his hands.
They also referred him for a medical exam. He was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome and had surgery on both his hands in 2015.
Mike got in touch with our industrial disease team in Birmingham to see if we could help and we were able to secure £5,000 compensation for him.
If you've developed an illness or injury at work due to substandard health and safety practices, our industrial disease solicitors may be able to help you make a compensation claim. Contact us online today to find out more.
*Not his real name
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