Editor

February 8, 2017

Get the SHP newsletter

Daily health and safety news, job alerts and resources

42% increase in hand arm vibration non-compliance, says report

Building Safety Group, the UK’s largest construction safety group, has reported a 42% rise in the number of ‘Hand Arm Vibration’ non-compliances recorded through site inspections.

The increase is based on over 20,000 independent inspections conducted during 2016, which compares the first six months with the second six months of the year.

Exposing workers to the risks of ‘Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome’ can result in symptoms such as such as tingling, pins and needles, numbness and pain in the affected persons’ hands. The condition can affect sleep when it occurs at night and cause difficulties in gripping and holding things.

In 2015 there were 635 new hand arm vibration syndrome related claims compared to 610 and 580 in 2014 and 2013 respectively.

A recent case saw Thanet District Council fined £250,000 for not protecting workers’ health when a worker was left with permanent injuries after being diagnosed with the illness.

The number of noise related non-compliances has also increased, with a 33% rise in the number of infringements recorded.

Noise at work can cause hearing damage that is permanent and disabling. This can be hearing loss that is gradual because of exposure to noise over time, but also damage caused by sudden, extremely loud noises.

There were, however, encouragingly large drops for dust and fume (down 20%) and manual handling (down 11%) non-compliances, which both saw significant falls.

BSG’s announcement coincides with a series of recent HSE blitzes which have focused on these areas, frequently leading to fee for intervention penalties being imposed.

“Everyone controlling construction site work has ‘health’ and not just ‘safety’ responsibilities” commented Paul Kimpton, Managing Director at the Building Safety Group.

“Checking that working conditions are healthy before work begins is essential for safeguarding against the too often devastating impact of illnesses related to Occupational Health.

“This of course requires careful planning and organisation beginning with the implementation of ‘Health Surveillance’ to monitor workers who are exposed to risks such as HAVS and Noise.

“So it is critical that companies regularly review their systems and procedures to ensure they are compliant with UK legislation and that their workforces are protected.”

 

Download: October 2020 Legislation Update

COVID-19 continues to bring unprecedented challenges for people, businesses and societies. To help you navigate the confusing and fast-changing regulations, guidance and legislation – covering not just the coronavirus pandemic, but fire and building safety and the environment – get your free copy of the October 2020 Legislation Update.

    • Latest COVID-19 measures and legislation;
    • Fire safety and post-Grenfell safety regime;
    • Brexit;
    • Environment legislation updates;
    • Latest health and safety fines and prosecutions;
    • And much more...
April 2020 Legislation eBook

Related Topics

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
3 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Richard Burrows
Richard Burrows
3 years ago

Fascinated to know how one can determine a HAV “non compliance” from site inspection? We are suggesting that a “site inspection” is a walk around a site after all ?

I’ve made countless site visits to contractors sites and never yet been able to see a valid, accurate HAV assessment which is relevant to what happens on a site. Love to see the detail behind this rather bold claim.

Richard Burrows

Mark Johnson
Mark Johnson
3 years ago

Thank-you for your comment Richard,

We would be happy to arrange for our Technical Support Manager to call and explain how we identify this particular type of non-compliance during site inspections as well as the advice we provide that enables companies to monitor and measure worker exposure to HAV. Please send your contact details to [email protected] so we can arrange to get in touch.

Mark_Johnson
Mark_Johnson
3 years ago

Thank-you for your comment Richard,

We would be happy to arrange for our Technical Support Manager to call and explain how we identify this particular type of non-compliance during inspections as well as the advice we provide that enables companies to monitor and measure worker exposure to HAV. Please send your contact details to ‘[email protected]’ so we can arrange to get in touch.