An investigation has found that safety failings at a storage firm led to several staff developing the debilitating Hand-arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspected Dawson Rental Portable Cold Storage Ltd, of Huthwaite, Nottinghamshire, while a separate investigation found that one worker was injured by falling equipment.
Nottingham Crown Court fined the cold storage firm £40,000 on Thursday.
Agency worker Kevin Rodgers, 37, of Mansfield, was struck and trapped by falling portable cold storage on October 26, 2010.
He sustained many broken foot bones and an epileptic seizure after becoming trapped under the L-shaped part of the cold store while dismantling smaller sections of the equipment.
Dawson did not properly assess the risks involved in the breaking-up procedure, staff training and supervision were inadequate, and no safe systems of work were in place, the court heard.
Power tool users at risk
An HSE investigation was conducted after many staff were reported to be suffering from HAVS.
HAVS is an industrial injury which disables the nerves and joints, usually affecting people who regularly use vibrating power tools. These could include mowers, chainsaws or pneumatic drills.
One employee, Paul Straw, 47, from Mansfield Woodhouse, suffered so badly he could not do his job any longer.
The HSE identified several safety failings, including staff being allowed to use power tools for substantial periods of time. Frequent monitoring of staff use of power tools, and for how long they were using them, was extremely restricted or not in place.
Dawson pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc act 1974 and two breaches of Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. It was also told to pay £20,000 costs.
Contact Accident Advice Helpline now
If your boss fails to protect you properly and you develop HAVS, you may be eligible to claim for compensation.
Your first step is to find a professional personal injury lawyer who will try and get you compensation.
Date Published: February 15, 2014
Author: David Brown