Two construction companies have been fined for safety breaches following separate investigations into reports of cases of carpal tunnel syndrome and hand-arm vibration syndrome to employees.
Derby Crown Court heard how employees at Sandvik Mining and Construction Limited and Sandvik Construction Mobile Crushers and Screeners Limited were regularly exposed to hand-arm vibration through the use of a range of vibratory tools in assembling and servicing crushers and screeners.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out investigations into the activities of both firms and found that they had failed to adequately manage the risks to employees from exposure to vibration, including failing to carry out suitable and sufficient risk assessments, between July 2005 and March 2014 in the case of Sandvik Mining and Construction Limited, and between 2007 and February 2013 in the case of Sandvik Construction Mobile Crushers and Screeners Limited.
The HSE also found that the companies had not made reasonable estimates of their employees’ exposure to vibration during these periods.
Sandvik Mining and Construction Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,246.
Sandvik Construction Mobile Crushers and Screeners Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The firm was fined £280,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,246.
HSE inspector, Edward Walker, said: “There is a well-known health risk associated with exposure to hand-arm vibration and it is important that measures are put in place to manage the risk.
“Exposure to hand-arm vibration can cause debilitating effects which could have been avoided.”