This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Rise in prosecutions for HAVS injuries

16 February 2017

Warnings have been issued to employers in all areas following an increase in the numbers of prosecutions following workers suffering from Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).

Recent high profile court cases have seen British Airways and a large local authority found to be in breach of the law, according to the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA).

It also refers to the recent Building Safety Group report that highlighted a 42% rise in the number of HAVS breaches, resulting from 20,000 site inspections conducted in 2016.

A number of employers also received fines totaling more than £250,000 following prosecutions over HAVS issues and breaching the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005.

The effects of HAVS are permanent once damage has been sustained and it is estimated that 2m workers in the UK are at risk of this type of injury.

Symptoms include tingling, pins and needles, numbness and pain in the hands and can result in difficulty in gripping and holding, with the added possibility of sleep deprivation.

BESA head of technical services Russell Mott said: "It is vital that employers take this issue seriously.

"Clearly the HSE and legal teams are stepping up pressure to make sure companies are taking the right steps to reduce employees' exposure to the risk of serious and permanent damage.

"Increased time and cost pressures on employers are not an excuse to take short-cuts with your staff welfare," he said.

Mr Mott further warned about basing risk management strategies on equipment performance figures published by manufacturers.

"There are clear differences between what is published in product brochures and what actually happens in the real world," he said.

"A CE test regime will not take equipment wear and tear into account or its correct use in a work situation, for example."

Print this page | E-mail this page


Article image Why the Law Says You Need a Nappy Bin Disposal Service

At home, parents are used to disposing of their babies’ used nappies the same way they do any other domestic waste - bagging it up and sticking it in the rubbish for general collection.Full Story...

Article image Competency in FM - part one

Competency in FM is a subject that is attracting attention in the industry and rightly so. Legislation and regulations put the duty to comply on a ‘competent person’ and, more often than not, there is no definition of competent.Full Story...

Partnership formed to support green business development

Former editors celebrate PFM Awards’ 25th anniversary

ESOS fines of nearly £160,000 announced