Personal Injury Claims

Vibration White Finger HAVS & RSI Claims

Specialist personal injury lawyers

Hand–arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), also known as vibration white finger (VWF), causes pain and numbness of the hands and fingers following protracted exposure to vibration from the use of vibrating tools.

Browell Smith & Co Solicitors has successfully pursued many HAVS claims, for clients who suffered during their lifetime or are suffering from HAVS as a consequence of using vibratory tools or equipment whilst employed, such that no or limited protective equipment was provided and or the vibratory damage was caused by their employment, the tools used not having been modified to reduce the injuries sustained.

HAVS was classified as an industrial disease in 1985. Those who suffer from HAVS may also be able to claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit from the Department for Work and Pensions.

The harmful health effects of vibrating tools are related to the length of time that a worker uses those vibrating tools and the frequency of the vibration. The longer a person uses a vibrating tool, and the faster the tool vibrates, the greater the risk to health.

If you feel you are suffering from HAVS symptoms and you have worked or still work with vibrating tools or machinery, we would advise you to speak to your GP or a medical specialist immediately. If you feel that you may have a claim for HAVS please contact our specialist HAVS personal injury lawyers to discuss your claim further.

Contact our expert team today to arrange a free initial consultation at any of our offices, in Newcastle, Cramlington, Ashington and Sunderland, or alternatively at your home, to discuss your particular requirements.

Dawn Bagley

Solicitor - Head of Personal Injury & Medical Negligence

Kathryn Shingles

Solicitor - Personal Injury

Hayley Watson

Legal Clerk - Personal Injury

HAVS Symptoms

  • Attacks of whitening (blanching) of one or more fingers when exposed to cold
  • Tingling and loss of sensation in the fingers
  • Pain and cold sensations between periodic white finger attack
  • Loss of grip strength

Symptoms of HAVS are aggravated by smoking and when the hands are exposed to cold.

Examples of Tools used (Not Exclusive)

Regular users of hand-held pneumatic/percussive/grinding tools or electric tools such as:

  • Concrete breakers, concrete pokers
  • Sanders, grinders, disc cutters
  • Hammer drills
  • Chipping hammers
  • Chainsaws, brush cutters, hedge trimmers
  • Powered mowers
  • Scabblers or needle guns

RSI/Repetitive Strain Injury

This is a work related upper limb disorder resulting in muscle pain, and damage to nerves and ligaments as a direct result of repetitive movement or overuse, usually at work.

Browell Smith & Co Solicitors’ legal team has dealt with many of these cases and we have a deep understanding of the distress and disability this type of injury can cause a client.

RSI (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome; Tenosynivitis; Tendonitis; Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow) usually affects the forearm, elbow, wrist, hands, neck and shoulders. Symptoms usually include pain or tenderness, stiffness, tingling, numberless and cramp.

In the workplace, any repetitive, forceful or rapid tasks performed continuously, without reasonable or sufficient breaks or changes in the activity itself, will place more stress on specific structures of the body, resulting in the risk of injury, as can working with a poor posture or activities that require you to work in awkward positions can also cause the condition.

If you have developed a work related upper limb disorder, or RSI, contact a member of the Browell Smith & Co team as soon as possible.

Time limits

There are time limits within which a claim must be lodged with the court.

For occupational disease cases court proceedings must be commenced within three years of the date when you first had reasonable grounds to believe that you might be suffering from the condition complained of. In the event that court proceedings are not started within three years from the relevant date, the negligent party may be able to escape paying compensation on the basis that your claim is out of time.

The law surrounding the time limits for industrial disease compensation is extremely complex and issues will differ from case to case. It is not always necessary to have a firm diagnosis from a medical practitioner for the time limit to commence. We would urge you to seek legal advice from a specialist as soon as you suspect your condition is caused by your employment, for if you do not you run the risk that your claim will be “out of time” irrespective of its merits.

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