Developer is fined £600,000 for power tools risk assessment breach

Nov 15, 2019

A PROPERTY developer has been fined a total of £600,000  after five employees developed Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome through working with power tools.

The workers, all employed by Places for People at sites including in Milton Keynes, used the tools regularly to carry out grounds maintenance tasks.

However, an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that the company failed to assess or manage the risks associated with vibrating tools. It also failed to provide suitable training or health surveillance for its maintenance workers and failed to maintain and replace tools which increased vibration levels.

Places for People Homes Ltd, of London pleaded guilty at Aylesbury Crown Court 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 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.”

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