Unite Legal Services has supported 54-year-old Mark Meredith in an industrial disease compensation claim.
Mark began suffering from pain and tingling in his hands, known as Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, while working for a yacht manufacturer in Dorset. The symptoms were caused by the repeated use of a vibrating hand-held polisher at work, which he would use for up to eight hours a day, for a period of several years. This was despite an assessment that found that it shouldn’t be used for more than one and a half hours a day.
He was also told after his injury that he should only use the machine if it was resting on a flat surface, however, Mark was never given such instructions and would hold the polisher at arm’s length, causing further pain to his wrists and hands. Mark is unable to use the polisher at work anymore.
“Before I told my employer about the pain, I was regularly doing two and a half hours overtime every day, but since I was taken off the hand-held polisher, the overtime has virtually disappeared,” said Mark. “I feel like my employer is punishing me for suffering an injury that wasn’t my fault.”
Mark contacted Unite Legal Services to make a claim for compensation.
He continued: “I hope to work for many more years, but I’m now really restricted in what I can do and, as a result, my employment options are limited. I’ve had treatment but I could need more in the future. Fortunately my settlement means that I am financially secure to cover this cost, thanks to the hard work of Unite Legal Services.”
Stuart Davies, Regional Legal Officer from Unite the union, said: “Regular monitoring of machinery and a job rotation system could have prevented our member developing this painful injury. Instead, at just 54 years of age, it is unlikely that Mark’s symptoms will ease.
“We fought his case and ensured 100 per cent of the compensation was awarded to Mark, without any deductions. No one should suffer an avoidable injury at the hands of their employer and Unite is proud to represent members who have been let down by their employers.”