Oxfordshire company fined for safety failings

Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court have fined an Oxfordshire based ground engineering company, known as Phi Group, after a worker contracted severe hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS).

An employee was eventually diagnosed as suffering from HAVS after repeatedly flagging his symptoms to the company for over five years.

The investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company did not have the right system in place to manage the workers’ health as it did not have a suitable health surveillance programme in place to monitor for the early onset of HAVS and to prevent the irreversible condition from developing.

Keller Limited of Oxford Road, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Coventry, pled guilty to breaching Regulation 7(1) of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 and were fined £6,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,263.45.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Mehtaab Hamid said:

“This was a case of the company completely failing to grasp the importance of HAVS health surveillance.

If they had understood why health surveillance was necessary, it would have ensured that it had the right systems in place to monitor worker’s health and the employee’s condition would not have been allowed to develop to a severe and life altering stage”.