Nottinghamshire County Council has been ordered to pay £60,000 in compensation to a council worker whose hands have been permanently damaged after using vibrating tools every day at work for almost 30 years.
GMB member Andrew Bowler, a landscape gardener, developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome after the excessive vibration led to tingling in his hands and fingers, numbness and muscle weakness. Bowler had surgery on his hands but has been told he will be disabled for life.
Lawyers Thompsons Solicitors argued that the council should have been monitoring employees using vibrating tools to ensure they were not exposed to dangerous levels. Thompsons suggested the council could have varied Bowler’s work or attempted to lessen the vibration from the tools.
The council admitted liability and settled the claim out of court.
Regional secretary of the GMB Andy Worth said: “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a major workplace hazard and can have a devastating impact on employment opportunities and private lives. The risks have been well documented since the 1970s and yet this employer turned a blind eye to the health and safety precautions they should have been taking.”
Bowler is now only able to work a three-day week owing to the damage Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has caused to his hands.
Lighthouse can offer advise training and assist you with legal compliance to ensure that your workers do not experience either Hand Arm or Whole Body Vibration Syndrome.