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Updated Sep 23, 2022

Company directors fined for failing to control risks from vibration exposure

Partners in construction firm Roywood Contractor of Tilford, Surrey, have been prosecuted for failing to adequately control the risk from vibration exposure to their employees when using vibrating tools.

Employees of the company worked at various construction sites using vibrating tools without any adequate control measures in place. Consequently an employee who had worked for the company for 12 years suffered from significant hand-arm-vibration syndrome (HAVS) and the significant ill health associated with that diagnosis.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) undertook an investigation and discovered that on or prior to 15 January 2020, there had been no adequate assessment made of the risks posed to employees from vibration exposure. As such they had no appropriate measures in place to control the risks working with vibrating tools causes, and no suitable health surveillance for employees in order to monitor their condition.

HSE inspector Leah Sullivan commented: "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."

The partners who run the company, Andrew Hatto and Paul Kiff, pleaded guilty at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court to breaches under the Control of Vibration Regulations SI 2005/1093. Each director was fined £1,150 and costs of £3,500.

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