Lancashire County Council has been fined after several employees within the highways department developed a nerve condition. This was due to overexposure to vibration known as Hands-Arm Vibration Syndrome.
Using vibrating tools regularly can cause the painful and disabling disorder (HAVs). In this case, the disorder has left employees with nerve damage to the hands and arms. This can make everyday activities difficult or impossible to complete.
The HSE received a RIDDOR report relating to this case of HAVS to which an improvement notice was given to the council to improve their controls, was issued in 2019. As a result of this, ten more cases were found and reported late with then a further 4 more reports filed on time. These delayed reports were required under RIDDOR.
These cases were a result of insufficient supervision and monitoring to ensure operatives recorded their levels of exposure and the safety implications of not doing so. No action was taken to reduce or stop excessive exposure levels when employees began reporting symptoms.
Lancashire County Council of County Hall, Fishergate, Preston pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 2 (1) and 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at work etc Act 1974 and Regulations 8 of the RIDDOR Regulations 2013. The council was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,366.78.