Contruction Firm Partners Fined Following HAVS Breach
Two partners in a construction firm have been fined following an investigation after failing to adequately control vibration risks to its employees when using vibrating tools.
Employees of the firm worked at various construction sites using vibrating tools without adequate control. One employee who has spent 12 years with this business suffered significant ill-health from hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS).
What is HAVS?
Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) is caused by exposure to vibration at work. It is preventable, however, once the damage is done, it is permanent. The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 are in place to better protect workers from vibration at work and they came into force in July 2005.
Following court proceedings, the 2 Surrey based partners 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 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.
To prevent HAVS employers should be putting in place suitable control measures such as appropriate PPE, including gloves, warm clothing. Businesses should also effectively maintain equipment and ensure they are fit for purpose. Further to this, trigger time tags can be added to control exposure. Workers should be trained on suitable use of tools prior to work being carried out.
Here at AW Safety we support businesses with a whole range of risk assessments including HAVS. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the regulations, third party advice could be just what you need.