A WORKER at Sunseeker received £16,000 in an out-of-court settlement after developing what his trade union says is 'hand arm vibration syndrome'.

Mark Meredith, 54, developed pain and tingling in his hands from repeated use of vibrating machinery while working at the Poole-based yacht manufacturer.

For 10 years prior to the diagnosis of his condition, Mr Meredith had regularly used a vibrating hand-held device that polished large pieces of metal.

His union, Unite, said he used the machinery for up to eight hours a day, despite an assessment that advised it shouldn’t be used for more than an hour-and-a-half a day. It is understood Sunseeker disputed that he used the machine for that long.

Unite also said he was told to use the polisher with his arms outstretched, which caused pain to his wrists, although he later found out that the device was meant to rest on a flat surface.

Mr Meredith’s job has changed as he can no longer use the polisher.

He said he continues to suffer tingling in his fingers and has reduced grip.

He said: "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."

Mr Meredith contacted Unite Legal Services and instructed industrial disease specialists Thompsons Solicitors to make the personal injury compensation claim.

Sunseeker has said the injury was carpel tunnel syndrome rather than hand arm vibration syndrome.

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."

A Sunseeker statement said the company "takes the health and safety of all its 2,362 employees seriously and continually reviews procedures to improve safety in its working environments".

It added: "As part of its health and safety controls, Sunseeker has in place working practices which are compliant with the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 and have been reviewed by the Health & Safety Executive. As a responsible employer, we have very limited exposure to historic industrial disease claims of this nature.

"We do not comment on individual cases, except to say that this case was settled by our insurers. Our current practices were not called into question and no judgment or award of damages was ever made by any court against Sunseeker in this case."