Claiming compensation for work related upper limb disorder

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By Oliviah Rix-Taylor

on Wednesday 1 August 2018


According to the 2017 report by the Health & Safety Executive, the number of upper limb or neck disorders reported in 2016/2017 compromised 45% of the total musculoskeletal disorders reported (507,000).

Claiming compensation for work-related upper limb disorder can financially reinstate you for your pain and suffering. The following payout amounts for an upper limb disorder injury have been issued by the judicial college;

Severity Compensation
Complete recovery within a short period of time£1,760 to £2,810
Symptoms resolving in the course of up to three years£6,890 to £8,570
Continuing, but fluctuating and unilateral symptoms£11,890 to £13,020
Continuing bilateral disability with surgery and loss of employment£17,460 to £18,440


What are Upper Limb Disorders (ULD’s)?

  • Aches, pains, tension and disorders involving any or part of the arm, or the neck
  • Also includes problems with the soft tissues, muscles, tendons and ligaments, and the circulatory and nerve supply to the upper limb
  • Are often caused or exacerbated (made worse) by work.

Upper limb disorders are commonly brought on by continually repetitive or strenuous activities.  If you are affected by a work-related upper limb disorder, your employer could be held liable if they failed to effectively manage and control the associated risks with this condition, or if the injury was caused due to an accident at work.

Common causes of ULD’s:

  • Repetitive work
  • Carrying out the same task for a long period of time
  • Uncomfortable working positions
  • Poor working environment and organisation
  • Individual differences and susceptibility

What are the symptoms?

Common symptoms of ULDs are:

  • Tenderness
  • Aches and pain
  • Stiffness
  • Weakness
  • Tingling sensation
  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  • Cramp

Can I claim for work related upper limb disorder?

If you have been diagnosed with a work related upper limb disorder in the last 3 years, and feel that your employer is to blame, our expert ‘No Win No Fee’ Solicitors could help you make a claim for compensation. The time limit for pursuing personal injury claims is 3 years from the date of the accident, or the date that you were diagnosed with the condition, and knew (or should reasonably have known) that your condition related to your employment. This would be likely when discussed with your Doctor on diagnosis of your condition. Our Solicitors would be happy to look into this for you, and let you know if you have a valid claim for compensation.  


Which medical conditions are considered to be work-related upper limb disorders?

Upper limb disorders affect the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves or other soft tissues in the upper limbs. This includes the following conditions:


  • Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
  • Vibration White Finger (VWF)
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
  • Tendinitis
  • Trigger finger
  • Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)
  • Tenosynovitis
  • Epicondylitis
  • Peritendinitis Crepitans

Diagnosing the Condition

You could be diagnosed with a work-related upper limb disorder, if it can be proved that your condition was caused by a work related activity or process. Doctors are often able to identify the cause, by asking questions about a person’s work activities, to establish if it is likely that your condition was caused as a result of your work. Your Solicitor would then look into your work process, and employer’s procedures including risk assessments relating to upper limb disorders, to establish if your employer is liable for your injury.


Common occupations that are associated with upper limb disorders include the following:

Any occupation which involves continuously repetitive or strenuous activities, with little rest time, could potentially expose someone to an upper limb disorder. The following are common jobs that are commonly associated with ULDs:

  • Carpenter
  • Assembly line worker
  • Key board operator
  • Construction worker (particularly when using power tools that vibrate)
  • Kitchen staff

However, this list isn’t exhaustive and ULDs are widespread across a range of industries and jobs. Any type of work that involves an employee using their arms to undertake tasks can lead to ULDs, even computer based employment.

Is my employer liable for my ULD?

If it can be proven that your employer failed to adequately protect you from the condition you have sustained, then they could be held liable.

Employers are required by law to protect their workers from avoidable harm. The Health & Safety at work Act 1974 and the Management of Health & Safety at work Regulations 1999 give employer’s general duties to manage and control the risks associated with work-related ULDs.

 If your Employer has not followed correct procedures relating to work related ULDs, they would be considered negligent, and could therefore liable to compensate you for this.

Cmpensation could help you to cover medical expenses and treatment, as well as other financial, social and emotional losses. A person can claim for General Damages (such as pain, suffering and emotional distress), and Special Damages (economic losses such as cost of attending medical appointments, or lost earnings). Your Solicitor would be able to advise you on what you can claim for, based on the UK Compensation guidelines.

Will I have to pay anything?

No- your Solicitor will send you a legal funding arrangement called a ‘Conditional Fee Agreement’, which agrees that you pay no costs upfront, and the Solicitor is paid in the event of success of your claim. The Solicitor then deducts a success fee (usually 25%) out of your compensation payment. So if your claim is unsuccessful, you are not left with a bill for legal work.


Get in touch with us today, for our ‘No Win No Fee’ Solicitors to look at starting your claim

0808 1454275

Accident Line Direct can help you begin your potential claim, get in touch today!