If you suffer a personal injury, whether in a car crash, at work, or in a public venue, you need to review your rights with a personal injury solicitor. Doing so can mean the difference between being burdened with medical costs and feeling financial relief.
Legal experts have the know-how needed to take on cases that involve the following:
• Asbestos-related personal injuries
• Occupational cancers
• Noise-inflicted hearing loss
• Dermatitis or related skin injuries
• Road traffic crashes
• Work accidents
• Mishaps in public places
• Brain and spinal injuries
• Accidents involving animals
One of the many claims that is handled by personal injury solicitors in Sunderland has to do with hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). This condition, which is also known as vibration white finger in some patients, leads to numbness or pain in the fingers and hands after long-term use of vibrating equipment or tools.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) projects that about two million UK residents are at risk for eventually developing HAVS. Most of the claims for the condition result from using hand-operated vibrating tools at work.
Anyone who routinely uses vibrating hand-operated tools on the job can make an HAVS claim. Personal injury compensation has been secured for people who use the following tools at work:
• Concrete breakers
• Disc cutters
• Hammer drills
• Hedge trimmers
• Needle guns
Individual who are at an increased risk for HAVS have used equipment such as the following:
• Floor polishers
• Rotary-activated tools for over an hour each day
• Hammer-action tools for over 15 minutes daily
When it worsens, HAVS can lead to nerve, blood vessel, and joint damage in the wrist, arm, or hand. Therefore, the compensation calculated for the condition is based on the severity of the injury. It is also determined by the likelihood of future symptoms. Claimants must answer how the condition has affected their lives.
Symptoms of HAVS include the following:
• Extreme numbness and tingling in the fingers
• Loss of sensation in the fingers
• Weakened hands
• Vibration White Finger (VWF) – the tips of the fingers exhibit a white then red colour in cold, damp weather with severe pain upon recovery
According to the Control of Vibration at Work regulations for 2005, an employer is responsible for protecting its employees and therefore must lessen the risks related to hand-operated vibration machines and tools. Steps that employers should take include the following:
• Provide workers with breaks from using vibrating machines and tools
• Supply anti-vibration gloves
• Maintain a reasonable temperature at the job site
• Supply the proper tools for a given task
• Offer training on the correct use of vibration machines and tools
Some of the reported claims have dropped since the above law went into effect.