Rochdale based firm fined £60,000 for failing to protect workers from Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)


Rochdale based firm fined £60,000 for failing to protect workers from Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS):

Hanson Springs a manufacturing company based in Rochdale has been fined £60,000 and ordered to pay £5,320 in costs plus a £120 victim surcharge at Manchester Magistrates Court for breaching two health and safety laws for failing to protect its staff from injury caused by using power tools.

Seven of the company’s employees were diagnosed with Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) after becoming exposed whilst working on hand grinding machinery for up to an hour a day contrary to the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005.

The court heard that the company became aware of the problem and commissioned reports into this back in 2011 however, the Health and Safety Manager did not make the company bosses aware of the findings.  In 2013 the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) visited the company making a list of recommendations but later advised that not enough was done to improve the situation. 

Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) results in numbness, tingling, poor grip and poor circulation in the hands.  Once the condition has developed, the damage is largely irreversible, although reducing or limiting the exposure to vibrating tools can prevent further damage or worsening of the condition.

Healthwork Advice and Discussion:

The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 impose a duty on all employers to adequately assess the risks from possible vibrating tools such as hammer drills, pneumatic hammers, road breakers, chainsaws, chipping hammers, strimmer’s, sanders and grinders.  The Regulations expect employers to introduce risk reduction control measures to ensure the safety of their employees.  Health surveillance using a tiered approach is recommended in the Regulations to prevent employees developing Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).

Healthwork has fully trained occupational health advisors and physicians who have all been trained in assessing the risk of HAVS.

We are also an approved Faculty of Occupational Medicine (FOM) provider of HAVS training and have successfully delivered a number of training courses in this area over the last couple of years.  Healthwork are currently running another 2 day HAVS training course on the 4th & 5th May 2017.

If you would like further details on how Healthwork could assist you in this area, or are interested in attending our next planned training event visit our website or alternatively contact us on 0161 831 9701.