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£120,000 HAVS fine shakes steel fabricator

An engineering company has been fined £120,000 after exposing employees to the risk of developing hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). 


Manchester and Salford Magistrates heard how Sandbach, Cheshire-based Newfield Fabrications failed to ensure its employees were given sufficient information, instruction and training on the effects of working with vibrating hand tools. 

Health and Safety Executive investigators found that during late 2015, a welder was given a task which involved a significant amount of grinding and polishing. He began to experience numbness and tingling and asked to swap with another worker but was told to carry on. His symptoms continued but he was told by his supervisor to continue using vibrating tools. 

Some weeks later, a 20-year-old apprentice welder also began to suffer from vibration-related symptoms from using similar tools.

Newfield Fabrications Co pleaded guilty to breaching reg 6(1) and 8(1) of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005. It was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay £7,241 in costs.



Nic Warburton is acting editor, IOSH Magazine

 Nick Warburton was previously acting editor of IOSH Magazine. Before that he was editor of SHP and he has also worked on Local Authority Waste and Recycling and Environmental Health Practitioner

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