Poor equipment results in Fentons client developing hand / arm vibration syndrome

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Poor equipment results in Fentons client developing hand / arm vibration syndrome

20th February 2008

Gregory Walters was employed by Southern Water as a Labourer between 1990 and 2004. His employment required him during that period of time to use heavy vibrating and pneumatic equipment for the purposes of breaking up tarmac and concrete in order to access water mains and service pipes. The equipment that he used included a mechanical oil compressor, air guns and a pneumatic compressor known as a "whacker". Up to 1998 the equipment that was provided to Mr Walters had static handles and were not adapted to prevent him from suffering the effects of vibration although anti-vibration equipment was introduced by the company from 1998 onwards. Gregory Walters was not provided with anti-vibration gloves and the nature of his work required him to work for lengthy hours using the vibrating equipment.

As a consequence of doing this Gregory Walters developed hand/arm vibration syndrome including symptoms in his fingertips which started in 1998. He was not aware, nor should he have been aware, until April 2004 that the symptoms that he was suffering from were suggestive of being caused as a result of hand/arm vibration in using the pneumatic tools at work. Although he stopped using vibrating tools on a regular basis he continued to suffer from symptoms by way of reduced sensation and tingling in his fingertips.

In March 2005 Gregory Walters instructed Fentons Solicitors. Extensive enquiries were made by Fentons in relation to Mr Walters' occupational health records and extensive correspondence took place between Fentons and the Human Resources Department at Southern Water. However liability was not admitted and it was necessary for Fentons to attend to commencing compensation proceedings in Court on behalf of Gregory Walters.

Following discussions with the Solicitors for the Defendant Gregory Walters' claims were resolved by negotiation and he was compensated for his pain, suffering and loss of amenity and his financial loss arising as a consequence of his work condition.

Gregory Walters' Solicitor, Nigel Smith of Fentons, says:

"Without a full and detailed investigation of this claim and the diligent attempts to secure all of Gregory Walters' full employment and personnel records and the instruction of a suitable and appropriate medical expert, Gregory would not have received the compensation which was ultimately awarded to him within the negotiated settlement.

Fentons remain committed to ensuring that employees and workers receive full compensation for all injuries and loss they suffer as a result of the negligence of their employers ".

Nigel Smith, an Associate at Fentons Solicitors, acted for the claimant.

How can Fentons Solicitors help?

Fentons have a specialist Industrial Disease department experienced in handling claims for most forms of Industrial Disease.

If you think that you have a case or require further information contact Fentons on 0800 0191 297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.