Two Fines Exceeding £200k for Hand Arm Vibration and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Cases Amongst Employees

Two Fines Exceeding £200k for Hand Arm Vibration and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Cases Amongst Employees
Two Fines Exceeding £200k for Hand Arm Vibration and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Cases Amongst Employees

Two Fines Exceeding £200k for Hand Arm Vibration and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Cases Amongst Employees

Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome
Two separate companies have received hefty fines both exceeding £200,000 in April and May due to their failings to protect workers from developing Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

One company, a Pipefitters based in Newport, pleaded guilty to offences under regulations 5, 6, 7 and 8 of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 after seven reported cases of Hand Arm Vibration syndrome of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  The other company, a Swedish construction firm with UK subsidiaries, was fined £280,000 for a similar situation however they pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

What is Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome?

Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome is a condition that is caused by excessive use of vibratory tools and causes permanent damage to the hands, fingers and arms. Symptoms usually include numbness, tingling and blanching of the fingertips which gives the condition a secondary name of Vibration White Finger.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is heavily associated with Hand Arm Vibration syndrome however this condition occurs in the wrist due to swelling and pressure in and around the tendons. This can also affect dexterity in sufferers and cause a great deal of pain.

In both these cases it was cited that the companies failed in their duty to provide a sufficient risk assessment and in the case of the Swedish Mining and Construction company they had failed to adequately manage the risk to employees from exposure to vibration and had not made reasonable estimates of employee’s exposure [to vibratory tools].

HSE inspector Joanne Carter said after the hearing of the Pipefitters firm based in Newport:

“The serious and irreversible risks from Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome caused by work with vibrating tools are well known and guidance has been in place since the early 1990s. This case shows there is no excuse for not putting in place a management system which includes risk assessment, control measures, health surveillance and information and training to reduce these risks to as low a level as is reasonably practicable.”

If you have developed Hand Arm Vibration syndrome or Carpal Tunnel syndrome by exposure to vibratory tools it may be possible to claim compensation. Roberts Jackson Solicitors have an expert team of solicitors dealing with cases of Hand Arm Vibration and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on a daily basis and can even run your case on a No Win No Fee agreement. If you would like to see if you are eligible to claim for either of these conditions please feel free to get in touch using our Freephone number 0800 001 4496 or by filling in one of our contact forms found on the right hand side of this page.

Sources
[1] £200k fine following HAVS cases http://www.shponline.co.uk/200k-fine-for-newport-company-following-havs-cases/
[2] Sandvik fined £280k for hand arm vibration failings http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/sandvik-fined-280k-for-hand-arm-vibration-failings