A former Rolls-Royce worker has won a payout from the company after his hands were left permanently damaged by the vibrating tools he used during his employment.
John Smith, the 62, was diagnosed with Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome in 2006 and, with the help of the union Unite, he contacted lawyers to pursue a compensation claim against Rolls-Royce. The company has since admitted liability and agreed to pay £6,250 in damages to Mr Smith.
Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome affects many people who have operated hand-held vibrating power tools over a number of years. Its symptoms include numbness in the fingertips, discolouration of the skin and general aches and pains in the hands, arms and fingers.
Mr Smith worked as a fitter balancer for Rolls-Royce from 1989 and was exposed to vibration on a daily basis. He started noticing his fingers turning white during the winter of 2004 but did not realise the significance until he was diagnosed with the condition two years later. Mr Smith, who is now retired, has to ensure his hands are kept warm at all times.
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