The Health and Safety Executive has fined a UK construction company for safety breaches after seven of its employees were diagnosed with Hand Arm Vibration (HAVS).
In a hearing at Leeds Magistrates’ Court, it was found that the seven cases had been reported over a less than two-year period and all involved workers who had been conducting ground works using vibrating hand tools. Many of the workers had over 20 years’ experience in the industry.
The Health and Safety Executive investigation discovered that the workers’ diagnoses only came about as a result of the appointment of a new occupational health provider in 2016. Before this date there was no proper system in place to identify workers at risk of developing or already displaying symptoms of HAVS.
Peter Duffy Ltd of Wakefield pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £40,000 plus costs. HSE inspector Chris Tilley said: “The company should have undertaken a suitable and sufficient risk assessment to identify the level of vibration employees were exposed to throughout their working day and then put in place appropriate control measures.”
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