A man from Barnsley has received £38,000 in damages after years of overexposure to power tools led to him developing hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS).

The man worked for PHI Group Limited from 1998 to 2004, where his job was to drill nails into the side of roads during construction. To do so, he would use a pneumatic drill for several hours without a break.

He then moved to work for Henry Boot Construction Limited where he was employed as a driller assisting in the demolition of prisons.

In 2008, he started to suffer from bouts of pins and needles. He later developed other typical symptoms, including whiteness extending along his fingers, especially in cold weather, and he was eventually diagnosed with HAVS.

His first training on the use of vibrating machinery came in 2013, the same year it was confirmed that he had developed an industrial disease and 15 years after he started working with such tools.

The man continues to work at Henry Boot but has since taken a different role that doesn’t involve him using vibrating tools.

He said: “It is extremely frustrating that after 15 years of being exposed to the machinery new health and safety policies came into force. The policies are little good to me now, as I’m going to have to live with this painful condition for the rest of my life, but they may help others so they don’t end up where I am.”

Following his diagnosis of HAVS he contacted industrial disease specialists, Thompsons Solicitors, to investigate a claim for compensation.

He added: “The pain gets even worse during cold and wet weather; I spend ages just trying to warm my hands up to get rid of the whiteness. It’s affected my ability to work and makes things like shopping almost impossible when the condition is at its worst. The support of Thompsons has been invaluable - I’ve been kept informed throughout the entire legal process which has given me peace of mind.”

Oliver Collett, of Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Unfortunately, two employers failed to pay any adequate attention to health and safety over a long period of time. By the time he was given adequate training it was quite literally too little too late.

“He has had to completely change his job and his health is, sadly, permanently damaged.”