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Vibration White Finger victim wins £42K in compensation

Posted in: Employer Negligence Industrial Deafness and Disease 

A worker who had been working for Derbyshire County Council has won £42,000 in compensation in a case brought before Manchester County Court.  The road worker from Derby had been working for his employer since 1973, during which time he had been required to use vibrating tools. Over the years, he developed Vibration White Finger and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, both of which could be directly linked to his prolonged exposure to vibrating tools and machinery. The court was told by his solicitors, who were appointed through the worker’s trade union, that at no time was he offered protective equipment or offered any medical advice about the possible effects of his use of these tools from his employer.

The road worker’s solicitors were able to present to the court that through their investigations it was clear that both the Vibration White Finger and the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome could be directly linked to their client’s use of the vibrating machinery. They assured the court that at no time had Derbyshire County Council questioned the possible effects of the work being carried out by their employee, and as such were liable to compensate him for his ongoing pain. 

“this judgement will assist other exposed union members”

The court found in favour of the road worker, and awarded him £31,000 for future loss of earnings, and £11,000 in compensation for the ongoing pain and suffering. Representatives for Health and Safety were very satisfied with the outcome of the case, and hope that it will aid other workers to pursue claims. He also hoped that it would act as a warning to other employers to take sufficient care of their employees in similar lines of work.

Andy Pegg, UNISON Health and Safety Officer for Derbyshire County UNISON comments: “We are very pleased with the outcome of this case and hope that other employers will take note and ensure that correct health and safety procedures are in place. Clearly this Judgement will assist other union members who have been exposed to vibrating tools for long periods during the course of their employment.

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