The above are just some examples of huge fines (excluding costs) imposed on businesses for failing to protect workers from over exposure to vibration emissions through extended use of power tools. This resulted in staff developing Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).
In many cases, there was evidence of the symptoms of HAVS being ignored and also insufficient information, instruction and training awareness of HAVS within the business, inadequate health surveillance, and either a poor or zero risk assessment conducted. Here are quotes from HSE inspectors regarding some of the above cases:
“All employers need to do the right thing to protect workers’ health.”
“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.”
Some examples to consider of the further consequences of failure to protect staff are:
- absence costs
- decreased productivity
- increased insurance premiums
- …..and most importantly the HUMAN cost.
As an employer, where power tools associated with HAVS are used regularly, you are obliged to carry out a competent risk assessment to reduce the risks to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP) and provide staff with training in awareness to the symptoms and causes of HAVS. This illness is entirely preventable providing it is detected and controlled at an early stage.
Essel Acoustics has the relevant skills, training, qualifications and experience to carry out competent risk assessments in accordance with industry best practice methods. With this in-mind, we have prepared a FREE booklet to help you to find out more about hand-arm vibration syndrome.
Download our FREE booklet here: A guide to hand-arm vibration syndrome