If you worked in an industry where you were required to use vibrating tools or to handle vibrating equipment for extended periods of time, you may have been at risk of developing hand arm vibration syndrome.
Jobs involving the prolonged and frequent use of vibrating tools and equipment are found in a wide range of industries. These include:
- Building and maintenance of roads and railways
- Estate management (e.g. maintenance of grounds, parks, road and railside verges)
- Heavy engineering
- Manufacturing concrete products
- Mines and quarries
- Motor vehicle manufacture and repair
- Public utilities (water, gas, electricity and telecommunications)
- Shipbuilding and repair
There are hundreds of tools and equipment that can cause ill health from vibration, for example:
- Concrete breakers/road breakers
- Concrete pokers
- Cut-off saws (for stone etc)
- Hammer drills
- Hand-held grinders
- Impact wrenches
- Needle scalers
- Pedestal grinders
- Disc cutters
- Powered lawn mowers
To protect you, your employer should have carried out risk assessments, implemented control measures in relation to the use of tools, provided low-vibration tools, and undertaken regular maintenance of tools as faults and general wear can lead to increased vibration.
Your training should have also covered the following areas:
- How to recognise the early signs of HAVS
- Reducing the amount of time you use vibrating tools by doing other jobs in between or rotating tool use with colleagues
- Holding tools correctly; not gripping too tightly nor forcing a tool more than you have to
- Guidance on how long a tool can be used before the exposure posed a risk of injury.
If you would like to find out more about whether you were at risk of developing a vibration related condition in your industry, please get in touch with a member of our team. We can undertake an assessment and determine whether you are entitled to compensation. We are highly experienced in guiding our clients through the process of making a claim.