Personal injury compensation paid to gardener affected by vibrating tools

  • Posted

Posted 23/03/2011

A man who was left permanently disabled because he had to regularly use vibrating power tools has been awarded personal injury compensation by his employer.

Landscape gardener Andrew Bowler, 51, had been working for Nottinghamshire County Council for nearly 30 years when he began to suffer pain and numbness in his hands and fingers, the Eastwood Advertiser reports.

In 2008, he was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome and had surgery, but the condition is so bad that he can now only work for three days a week to manage the pain.

Mr Bowler took legal action against the council, claiming that it should have warned him about the dangers of using vibrating tools every day and should have implemented measures preventing him from harm.

Nottinghamshire County Council has now admitted liability and agreed to a £60,000 personal injury compensation payout.

The Health and Safety Executive states that around five million workers are being exposed to hand-arm vibration in the workplace. Some two million of these workers are exposed to levels of vibration where there are clear risks of developing medical problems.

Simon Davis, a Ashtons Legal partner who specialises in workplace injury claims, adds: “Not many people know that vibrating tools can cause permanent damage to nerves and circulation for those who use them on a regular basis.

“The government has long recognised the condition of ‘Vibration White Finger’ and will award Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit for the disability caused. Employers also have a duty to minimise the effect of vibration and will be liable to pay compensation if the appropriate steps are not taken. The Health and Safety Executive website confirms the latest guidance. 

“Awards can be substantial as this case shows. The pain and discomfort felt by sufferers particularly in cold weather can be acute and life-changing.”


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