Two partners in a construction firm have been fined a total of £9,300 for failing to adequately control the risk to its employees from exposure to vibration when using vibrating tools.
Employees of Roywood Contractors worked at various construction sites using vibrating tools without adequate control, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has ruled.
As a result, an employee who had been working at the company for 12 years suffered significant ill-health from hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS).
An investigation by the HSE found that on or before January 15, 2020, the company failed to adequately assess the risk to employees from exposure to vibration.
They did not have appropriate measures to control exposure or place employees under suitable health surveillance to monitor their condition.
Andrew Hatto and Paul Kiff, trading as Roywood Contractors, of Tilford Road, Tilford, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6 (1) and 7 (1) of the Control of Vibration Regulations 2005.
They were each fined £1,150 and ordered to pay costs of £3,500 each at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court on September 20.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Leah Sullivan said: “This was a case of the company completely failing to grasp the importance of hand-arm vibration syndrome health surveillance.
“If they had understood why health surveillance was necessary, it would have ensured that it had the right systems in place to monitor worker’s health and the employee’s condition would not have been allowed to develop to a severe and life altering stage.”
A legal representative for Roywood Contractors said: “In giving his judgment, District Judge Pattinson commented that the defendants’ operated a well-run and considerate business.
“He acknowledged that they had engaged a specialist advisor to assist them in ensuring the health and safety of their employees and that in this case the advice they were given wasn’t sufficient to enable them to fully manage vibration at work risks.
“He acknowledged that the defendants had put in place a number of safeguards in respect of the risks, that they had implemented certain health surveillance measures and that they had made work adjustments to assist the employee after his diagnosis.
“He noted the significant mitigation, including that they were now in complying with the relevant duties and that both Defendants had a previous good health and safety record.”
The HSE is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety.