One danger which is widely misunderstood is ‘hand vibration syndrome’. Hand vibration syndrome is an injury which is caused by the repetitive use of a vibrating tool. The injury can occur in most industrial environments and can have severe and long lasting consequences.
Despite the high probability of this injury occurring in an industrial setting, in general, very little is done to limit the risks and educate those who are using vibrating tools on a daily basis.
The majority of media attention in the UK is focused on the illegitimate compensation claims which are made each day. This paints a very one sided, and unfair, picture of the personal injury claims industry.
This negative media attention makes people with genuine claims reluctant to come forward and get legal advice. The other downside to this negative media coverage is that there is far less attention given to educating people about the dangers that certain jobs present and the responsibility that employers have towards their employees.
If you are working in the construction, mining, steel or engineering industries it is very likely that you will, at some point, be required to use a vibrating tool of some sort. When using a vibrating tool it is very important that you only use it for a limited period before having a rest. It is also very important that you are mindful of the symptoms of hand vibration syndrome so that you can stop if they occur. The most common symptoms are: sensitivity in the hands, aching wrists, aching forearms, numb fingers and difficulty handling small items. If you experience any of these symptoms during or after using vibrating equipment, it is very important that you have an immediate break from using that equipment.
You may be entitled to hand or arm vibration compensation
Your employer has a duty to take reasonable precautions to limit the risk of these injuries. This includes monitoring the time spent using vibrating equipment and giving you adequate rest. If they fail to meet their responsibilities and you feel that your symptoms are caused or aggravated by your employer’s negligence, you may be entitled to make a hand or arm vibration compensation claim.