A stonemason who was forced to give up his specialist trade after his hands were left permanently damaged by using vibrating tools at work has received £56,000 in compensation.

The 46-year-old from Tadcaster was left with the debilitating condition Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) after using vibrating tools on a daily basis in his job as a stonemason for a Yorkshire company.

The condition means he suffers from constant pins and needles and has been forced to give up his trade after 10 years. He also has had to give up his hobbies of fishing and cycling during the winter.

HAVS is an industrial injury

HAVS is an industrial injury which affects many people who operate hand-held vibrating power tools over a number of years. 

Its symptoms can differ greatly but common complaints are numbness in the fingertips, discolouration of the skin and general aches and pains in the hands, arms and fingers.

The client still works for the firm but is now a delivery driver. He first started noticing a problem with his hands in 2008. He was told by a specialist it was HAVS and was advised to claim compensation.

Thompsons Solicitors made claim for compensation

Following his diagnosis he contacted personal injury experts Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation.

The company admitted liability and settled the claim out of court.

The client said: “I first started suffering symptoms in 2008 when my fingers started tingling and soon afterwards I was diagnosed with HAVS. It has been difficult accepting that after years of training I’ve ended up as a delivery driver and can only watch my colleagues continue with stonemasonry. 

“Since the doctor said it was work related I took the claim for my family as I’ve had to take a significant pay cut.”

Oliver Collett from Thompsons Solicitors added: “This is a considerable award for this type of condition but this client had to give up his career as a stonemason and take a substantial pay cut.

“This employer ignored clear rules about properly assessing the levels of vibration and the amount of time workers use vibrating tools. As a result our client’s career is at an end.”