Five workers develop HAVS after vibrating tool use

A property management and development organisation has been fined after five employees developed Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).

Vital health surveillance, tool replacement and management found wanting

A property management and development company has been fined £600k after five employees developed Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).

Aylesbury Crown Court heard that between 2009 and 2014 the five employees used vibrating powered tools to carry out grounds maintenance tasks at sites in Milton Keynes, Rotherham and Hull.

Firm failed to replace increased vibration tools

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed to assess or manage the risks associated with vibrating tools.

The company also failed to provide suitable training or health surveillance for the maintenance workers and failed to maintain and replace tools which increased vibration levels.

  • Places for People Homes Limited – of Cheapside, London pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company has been fined £600,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £13,995.06

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Andrew McGill said:“Companies must manage the risks associated with vibrating tools. Hand arm vibration can be a significant health risk wherever powered hand tools are used for significant lengths of time.

HAVS is preventable, but once the damage is done it is permanent. Damage from HAVS can include the inability to do fine work and cold can trigger painful finger blanching attacks.

Health surveillance is vital to detect and respond to early signs of damage.”

Five workers develop HAVS after vibrating tool use