A young father who developed Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) and was subsequently forced to give up his skilled trade has been awarded compensation for his injury.
Ben Wright, now 29, started work as an apprentice panel beater when he was 16 years of age. He repaired cars that had been damaged in accidents and used a variety of different vibrating tools in the course of his work. The first symptoms of his condition emerged in 2002, but he did not realise their significance.
By 2005, however, he was told by doctors that he would have to change his job. His employer transferred him to a number of other temporary roles and also retrained him as an estimator.
Mr Wright brought a personal injury claim against his employer, arguing that it had been negligent in failing to prevent his injury. As a result of his condition, he had been forced to give up his skilled trade. His employer admitted liability and Mr Wright was awarded damages of £60,000.
Employers have a duty under the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 to assess the vibration risk to employees and to make them aware of the potential dangers associated with the use of vibrating tools over extended periods. They also have a duty to put in place safe working practices to help employees avoid injury. For further information on controlling the risk of HAVS, see http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg175.pdf.
If you have been injured at work through no fault of your own, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.