Worker sues for $1m for repetitive use of vibrating tools

A boilermaker is suing a Rockhampton business for more than $1 million in a negligence workplace injury lawsuit, claiming the repetitive use of vibration tools has caused carpal tunnel syndrome.

Darren Moore of Maurice Blackburn Rockhampton filed the lawsuit with the Supreme Court at Rockhampton in January, against a Parkhurst business.

David Chambers, 42, of Bowen, was employed as a boilermaker at the business from 2015 to 2018.

Mr Chambers claims during the employment he was repetitively required to use vibrating tools and impact tools, 9-inch grinders, 5-inch grinders with large and small bodies, welders, rattle guns, a pipe drill and hammers for 5.5 hours a day, 5.5 days a week.

The court documents claim Mr Chambers reported a swollen thumb in late 2016 however his work duties did not change.

Mr Chambers then claims he went to the doctors in September 2017 for numbness, pins and needles and swelling and pain in his right wrist and right hand.

It is alleged these symptoms were a result of his “excessive work with impact and vibrating tools”.

Mr Chambers claims he has now been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome and cubita tunnel syndrome.

Special Counsel Darren Moore said it was well known that the use of high impact tools over sustained periods of time could cause serious and ongoing injuries, as was the case with Mr Chambers.

“Mr Chamber’s employer should have taken steps to institute an adequate program of training and rotation of duties and so that these injuries could have been avoided,” Mr Moore said.

“Unfortunately, this injury was totally avoidable.

“Now, Mr Chambers suffers from constant pain which has required ongoing pain medication.

“What’s more, his quality of life, future earning capacity and his relationship with his young family have all been negatively impacted.”

For past wage loss, he is claiming $205,859.52 and for future economic loss a sum of $860,760.

The total sum of the lawsuit is $1,195,065.14.

No defence has yet been filed.



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