Vibration as we know means rapid back and forward movement. Any employee is at risk of developing hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) or whole-body vibration (WBV). These conditions can generally be caused if an employee is using hand-held power tools or machinery such as:
- Hedge trimmers
- Sanders, grinders or disc cutters
- Concrete breakers
Employees who suffer these type of vibration injuries tend to be involved in the construction industry, heavy engineering, road maintenance, groundworks and quarries. The conditions that develop cause injury to the nerves, blood vessels and joints and the injury tends to be permanent. The employer has obligations under the Health, Safety and Welfare at Work law to provide a safe place of work and a safe system of work for employees. It is essential that the right equipment is provided by the employer and that it is maintained properly to ensure it is kept in optimum condition to avoid increased vibration over and above general wear and tear. It is important also if there are early signs of developing hand-arm vibration that the employer is informed by the employee or the employee’s doctor and alternative work is then provided. If the employer fails to do this and the condition develops, there should be a successful claim in negligence for compensation for the injury suffered. The employer is also obliged to provide regular rest breaks to limit the amount of time that an employee will spend using a particular vibrating tool or machine. It is important that the work processes are identified as safe and appropriate rotating shift patterns for example are implemented by the employer. It is important also that the employer monitors properly the health and welfare of their employees through occupational medical review. The employer should also carry out a risk assessment, to identify and understand what an employee’s HAVS exposure is likely to be. If these are not carried out and an injury is suffered in the workplace then it is likely the employer through their insurance company will be liable in a claim for compensation.
Our personal injury compensation claims solicitors
If you have suffered injury caused by exposure to vibration at work you may be able to make a claim for compensation. It is important you seek advice as soon as possible to protect your legal rights. We believe in putting you our client first and we are committed to achieving the best result possible while all the time remaining sensitive to your needs. Please feel free to reach out to us below and will be pleased to discuss your case and offer no obligation advice.