Bolton Workers Contract HAVS as a result of Health and Safety Negligence, Asons Solicitors Comment

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According to the HSE, a Bolton specialist car manufacturer has been fined, after seven of their employees developed Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) over a six and a half year period.(1)

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Woodall Nicholson Ltd after several workers were diagnosed with HAVS syndrome, as a result of the daily use of vibrating hand-held equipment, such as grinders, saws and pneumatic tools. (1)

Trafford Magistrates' Court in Sale heard that the men, aged between 25 and 62, developed the condition while working at the plant on Wigan Road in Westhoughton. (1)

The Symptoms of HAVS include tingling and numbness of the fingers, which can cause loss of sensitivity, loss of strength in the hands, and pain in the fingertips during cold weather. Unfortunately the condition is incurable, and all the workers will suffer from this condition for the rest of their lives. (1)

The court was told HSE issued an Improvement Notice, requiring changes to operational procedures to be made, after the poor working conditions became apparent. The company has since introduced measures, reducing the level of vibration by introducing new lower-level vibrating tools and reducing the amount of time workers spend using them. (1)

Commenting on this case, Thomas Fairclough, Executive from Asons Solicitors, stated that:

“Any compensation awarded as a result of a HAVS claim can’t undo the lasting damage caused, but it can go a long way to funding the aids and support that the victim will need to improve their quality of life; items that many wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise. I’m glad that the employees affected received the compensation they deserved.”

Woodall Nicholson Ltd was fined a total of £10,000, and ordered to pay £13,485 in prosecution costs, after pleading guilty to a breach of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005. (1)

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Mike Lisle said:

"Some of the workers now have difficulty picking up small objects, such as screws and nails, which is essential for the job they do. They will also suffer some level of pain in their hands for the rest of their lives.

"The risks of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome are well known in the manufacturing industry and employers have a legal duty to make sure the exposure of workers to vibrating equipment is kept as low as possible.”

According to the HSE, almost two million people in the UK work in conditions that put them at continuous risk of developing Hand Arm Vibration syndrome. (1)

Asons Solicitors suggest that if someone would like to learn more about receiving HAVS compensation, or vibration white finger compensation, that information is available at http://www.asons.co.uk, or via an expert helpline on 01204 521 133.

(1)    Bolton limo firm in court of debilitating hand - http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2013/rnn-nw-woodall-nicholson.htm – HSE August 2013

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About Asons Solicitors:

Asons Solicitors is a Bolton-based law practice that specialises in personal injury and industrial disease claims. Founded by brothers Imran Akram and Kamran Akram, Asons Solicitors has developed to become a young and dynamic law firm that delivers practical solutions to clients in times of difficulty. Their continued focus on their staff has seen them awarded with the Investors in People “Gold Award”; which is reflected in the professional and personable approach they take in working with clients. They strive to grow and to develop, and their supportiveness and attention to detail ensures that their clients use them time and again.

For further information contact:
Email: info(at)asons(dot)co(dot)uk
Website: http://www.asons.co.uk

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Imran Akram
Asons Solicitors

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