Sandvik fined for vibration failings

Two UK subsidiaries of a Swedish construction equipment manufacturer have been fined for excessive hand arm vibration from equipment.
Sandvik Mining & Construction and Sandvik Construction Mobile Crushers & Screeners, both based in Swadlincote, Derbyshire, were fined for safety breaches as a result of separate investigations into reported cases of carpel tunnel syndrome and hand arm vibration syndrome to employees.

Derby Crown Court heard how employees at both companies were regularly exposed to hand arm vibration through the use of a range of vibratory tools in the assembly and servicing of crushers and screeners.

Investigations by the Health & Safety Executive found that Sandvik Mining & Construction between July 2005 and March 2014 and Sandvik Construction Mobile Crushers & Screeners between 2007 and February 2013, failed to adequately manage the risk to employees from exposure to vibration including failing to carry out suitable and sufficient assessments for the risk from vibration, and had not made reasonable estimates of employee’s exposure.

Sandvik Construction Mobile Crushers & Screeners Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It was fined £280,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,246.

Sandvik Mining & Construction Ltd pleaded guilty to the same offence and was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,246.

HSE inspector Edward Walker said after the hearing: “There is a well-known health risk associated with exposure to hand arm vibration and it is important that measures are put in place to manage the risk. Exposure to hand arm vibration can cause debilitating affects which could have been avoided.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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