Can I Make a Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome Claim? – Limitations explained

Can I Make a Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome Claim? – Limitations explained

If you suffer hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) as a direct result of your work or working environment, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

For people who believe that they have the warning signs of hand arm vibration syndrome but are unclear of what steps they should follow next, read our HAVS and VWF claims guide for a clearer understanding of the industrial disease, its symptoms and workplace causes.

Hand Arm Vibration (HAVS) compensation claims eligibility

If you are also looking to claim compensation for hand arm vibration syndrome, there are certain requirements and limitations in place. Here, you can gain a general overview of whether or not you are entitled to bring a claim against your employer.

Employer responsibility

The publication and distribution of the DD43 ‘Guide to the Evaluation of Exposure of the Human Hand/Arm System’ in 1975 provided employers with a good understanding of hand arm vibration syndrome. Meanwhile, the Taylor-Pelmear scale was introduced and used to assess the condition.

Therefore, 1975 is recognised as the date when employers first gained responsibility for protecting their employees from hand arm vibration syndrome.

This means that if a worker was exposed to vibratory tools prior to 1975, their employer cannot be liable for any damage sustained. However, there have been cases where people developed HAVS symptoms before 1975, but the exposure and damage continued following this year, meaning that they became eligible to make a claim for the worsening of their pre-existing condition.

Of course, any worker who has developed hand arm vibration syndrome following 1975 as a result of their employer failing to adequately protect them from the industrial condition is entitled to pursue a claim.

Limitation of actions

In accordance with the Limitation Act 1980, there are three factors that a claimant must prove when claiming compensation, which are:

  1. They have an injury
  2. The injury has a cause
  3. They can identify someone (i.e. their employer) as the source of the cause

There are two tests that can be carried out to determine these. One is an objective assessment from the perspective of an outside person looking in, while the other is subjective and from your own viewpoint.

The subjective test is the easiest to apply. If you recognise that you have HAVS by way of diagnosis and know that it has been caused by work, you have 3 years from that moment to bring a claim.

If a subjective test cannot be applied, Roberts Jackson can carry out an objective test by asking the following questions:

  1. Do you have an injury? (it does not have to be diagnosed)
  2. Did you know and/or ought to have known what and who was the cause of that injury?

You will then have three years from the point we determine that you noticed HAVS symptoms in which to bring a claim against your employer.

Pursuing a compensation claim with Roberts Jackson

Roberts Jackson solicitors are committed to providing HAVS sufferers with honest and straightforward legal advice and support so that they fully understand the options available to them.

Whether you are worried that you are suffering from symptoms or have already been medically diagnosed with HAVS, we can help you to determine whether you are entitled to pursue a claim. Our expert team can then build your case and negotiate your compensation on your behalf, making sure that you get the best possible result.

If you would like to talk further about hand arm vibration syndrome or pursuing a claim with Roberts Jackson, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 001 4496. Alternatively, you can fill out a claim request on the right hand side of this page and we will get right back to you.