Alan Reed developed Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) also known as Vibration White Finger, after working at Wansbeck District Council for nearly 40 years. He was using heavy electrical and pneumatic vibrating tools on a daily basis during his employment with the council and, later, with Bernica Group Limited.
In around 2010, about two years after Alan’s employment was transferred to Bernica, safety measures were introduced. These meant that Alan and his colleagues would only be spending a limited amount of time working with vibrating machinery. However, the damage had already been done.
Alan first started to notice tingling and numbness in his left hand about 10 years ago. His symptoms worsened and he found that he was struggling to carry out fiddly tasks such as doing up buttons. Following a medical examination, he was diagnosed with HAVS.
Through his trade union, Unite, Alan was put in touch with Beecham Peacock who won his case for him.
Alan said: “At first I was a bit wary about pursuing a personal injury claim, as I had never done anything like that before in all my working life and didn’t know what to expect. But the process was made extremely straightforward.
“Of course, you hope you never have to do anything like this, but if you do have problems at work it’s fantastic to be able to access the support you need. It could not really have gone better.”