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August 27, 2021

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Construction firm fined after several workers contracted occupational disease

A construction company has been sentenced for safety breaches after multiple employees were diagnosed with Hand Arm Vibration (HAVS).

The firm reported seven cases of HAVS between November 2016 and August 2018, Leeds Magistrates’ Court was told. All of the workers involved had been carrying out ground works involving vibrating tools. Many of them had been working in the industry for over 20 years.

The HSE’s investigation found that in 2016 the company contracted a new occupational health provider to replace their existing one. The diagnosis of the workers’ conditions resulted from these changes. Prior to the new company taking over the contract, there was no suitable health surveillance in place to identify HAVS.

Peter Duffy Ltd of Park View, Lofthouse, Wakefield pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has been fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £3,919 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Chris Tilley said: “The company should have undertaken a suitable and sufficient risk assessment to identify the level of vibration employees were exposed to throughout their working day and then put in place appropriate control measures.

“Furthermore, the company should have put in place suitable health surveillance to identify HAVS in their workforce”

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Alex Hills
Alex Hills
2 months ago

I don’t know all the facts, but it seems harsh in some ways. The new OH provider tried to do the right thing and cases were diagnosed once they took over, these no doubt resulted from historic exposure. They are then penalized. They may be thinking, perhaps we should have just kept quiet! Good outcome for the injured workers of course.