A construction company was prosecuted 17 October by Britain’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found there was no control of vibration risks and no health surveillance.
The firm also allowed unsafe work at height and failed to support the sides of a deep excavation, which could have collapsed – as revealed in photographs taken by the worker.
Brighton Magistrates’ Court heard that the employee’s work involved extensive use of vibrating power tools, including hydraulic breakers, to break out concrete floors and foundations. A sensation of pins and needles in his hands intensified over time and by March 2012 the pain was so severe he was unable to sleep. He was subsequently diagnosed with bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, which required surgery. Despite several operations he can no longer lift heavy objects or do everyday tasks like turn the pages of a book or open a bottle. The father of four is unable to work as a result.
The company pleaded guilty to four separate breaches of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 and single breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. The fine was £45,000, with an order to pay a further £4,670 in costs.
Here is the HSE press release which identifies the many offences.