A Cardiff based company which maintains and repairs aircraft components has been fined £400,000 and ordered to pay costs of £39,620 after some one hundred around employees were exposed to Hand Arm Vibration (HAV) and developed Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) over a period of twenty-two years. At least thirty of these were exposed to risk of significant harm.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that employees used a range of hand-held vibrating tools including orbital sanders, rivet guns, grinders and drills. The HSE found that the company failed in their duty to implement a safe system of work in order to control exposure to vibration. In addition, employees failed to organise suitable health surveillance which would have identified early stage symptoms of the disease.
A Norwich manufacturing firm has been fined £145,000 and ordered to pay costs of £65,900 after two employees, working with flammable substances in a spray booth, were killed by an explosion. The two had sprayed several welded steel buckets that morning and were preparing for their next batch.
Whilst cleaning or flushing a paint spray gun the flammable vapour generated was ignited by one of the various sources of ignition which were present at the scene. An explosion occurred, killing both workers.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the immediate cause of the explosion to be the inconsistent and incomplete approach to health and safety by the company and its employees.
A Wrexham-based dairy firm has been fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,267 after a worker was covered in hot caustic and steam resulting in serious injuries. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to ensure the safe isolation of plant and pipework before work commenced. The company had relied on informal risk control systems and arrangements which were no longer sufficient for a business of its size.