Thanet District Council has been fined £250,000 after a worker was diagnosed with hand arm vibration syndrome. The SHP reports that the worker was left permanently injured after spending up to six hours a day using powered equipment.
ELAS Group Operations Director Danny Clarke says: “This case highlights how the HSE are focussing on this area of risk, and employers need to ensure they are doing all that is reasonably practicable to manage the risk appropriately. Let’s not overlook the fact that management of vibration risk is required by law and too many companies have historically buried their heads in the sand rather than potentially opening a can of worms by identifying risks.
“Whilst some individuals may see working with vibrating equipment as an industrial hazard it isn’t, and it can seriously impact on peoples working ability as well as their quality of life. Employers need to understand that where diagnosis is made by a doctor relating to hand arm vibration related conditions such as carpal tunnel or hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), then these are RIDDOR reportable.
“Good vibration management programmes are effective at managing the risk and where risk is managed well this has positive impacts on employees both from a health perspective as well as employee engagement.”