UK solicitor explains how to claim compensation for the use of vibrating machinery in the work place including a jackhammer, hydraulic drill, diamond drill, pneumatic drill, core drill, wacker trench rammer, wacker breaker
Vibration white finger industrial injury victim question
I have worked for twenty years with various different types of vibrating machinery which include a jackhammer, hydraulic drill, diamond drill, pneumatic drill, core drill, wacker trench rammer and wacker breaker.
Towards the end of my twenty years of my employment I started to notice problems with both of my hands. I was suffering from pins and needles and the colour of my fingertips would change to white periodically especially in winter and would then flush red causing a lot of pain.
I worked in three different cities for the same company which were; Newcastle in England, Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland.
I left employment with the company approximately two years ago and my symptoms in my hands continued. I have recently attended with my GP who sent me to see a specialist and I have been diagnosed as having vibration white finger / VWF.
The company which I work for is no longer in business and I wish to know whether it is possible to make some form of a claim for compensation?
VWF industrial injury solicitor response
All of the hand held machinery you have described (including jackhammer, hydraulic drill, diamond drill, pneumatic drill, core drill, wacker trench rammer, wacker breaker) are well known for causing vibration related conditions to workers who are exposed to using such machinery day in day out for extended periods of time.
The symptoms of vibration white figure or hand arm vibration syndrome will typically first commence whilst a worker is still using the vibrating machinery at work or a short time thereafter (typically within a year) and from your description this appears to have occurred.
It is also quite common that a worker might not be aware as to what the problem is and even might presume that after stopping the use of the equipment the condition might improve. However, VWF is a condition where the blood vessels are damaged by the vibrations of the machinery and therefore symptoms can be permanent.
The fact that you have now been diagnosed with vibration white finger is a recognition that you are suffering from an industrial disease condition.
You have three years from date of injury or date of knowledge of injury to commence a claim against your employer and it seems you are well within this time period as you only left your employment approximately two years ago and you were only diagnosed with vibration white finger recently.
The fact that your employer is no longer in business will not affect your ability to claim. All employers must have in place appropriate insurance in the event of accidents or claims made by their employees.
Even though a company may have gone out of business the insurance company will still be in business or alternatively the liabilities of the insurance company will have been passed to another insurer.
An industrial disease solicitor can quite easily trace which insurer was in place and which insurance company now holds the liabilities for the period of your former employment.
The amount of compensation you can claim is dependent upon the severity of your VWF condition. This will be established by you’re a specialist solicitor instructing an appropriate medical expert who will comment on your current symptoms, but also give a prognosis as to what the future holds and any disabling effect to you of this vibration condition.
To make a claim or to discuss your claim online or in person free of charge click vibration white finger compensation claim.