A company has been fined for ignoring the risks involved with using vibrating machine tools for long periods of time.
One employee of Cummins Power Generation Ltd was left with a severe long-term disability, while four others were also diagnosed with symptoms consistent with early stage Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) concluded that bosses had failed in their duty of care towards members of staff.
Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome
HAVS comes from the use of hand-held power tools and is the cause of significant ill health including painful and disabling disorders of the blood vessels, nerves and joints.
Once the damage is done it is permanent. Nearly two million workers are estimated to be at risk of the condition.
Canterbury Magistrates’ Court heard that Cummins Power Generation had failed to manage the exposure of their employees to the serious risks of vibration for more than 10 years, even though it was aware of HAVS – which is often referred to as ‘white-finger’.
HSE found the company failed to assess their workers’ level of exposure to vibration
until HSE began its investigation, while it failed to put preventative measures in place until after an improvement notice was served.
Cummins Power Generation Ltd, Columbus Avenue, Manston, Ramsgate, Kent, admitted a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It was consequently fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £49,149 in costs.
Making a hand arm vibration claim
If you work in an industry that makes heavy use of power tools and have numbness or pain in your hands, you could be suffering from HAVS.
Accident Advice Helpline can tell you whether you have a case to make a claim and how much you could be entitled to.
All employers who use power tools have a duty to protect their workers the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005. If they fail on this front, the chances are you’ll be make a claim for personal injury compensation.
To discuss your claim with a member of Accident Advice Helpline’s expert team dial 0800 689 0500 now.
Source: Kent Online
Date Published: July 26, 2014
Author: David Brown