• Total Access Total Access Ethentic Ethentic
    Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data

    VIBRATION RISK LEFT UNASSESSED AND UNCONTROLLED

    Carpal tunnel syndrome prompts construction firm prosecution 

    C J Gowing and Son Ltd has been prosecuted after a construction worker developed a painful and debilitating nerve condition through prolonged, unrestricted use of vibrating power tools.

    Andrew Wood, aged 35, is likely to suffer chronic pain in both hands for the rest of his life as a result of work between July 2010 and March 2012. He was diagnosed with bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome which required surgery.

    Brighton Magistrates heard that his work involved extensive use of vibrating power tools, including hydraulic breakers, to break out concrete floors and foundations. HSE established that:

    • Assessment – risk from using vibrating tools for prolonged periods was not assessed; 
    • Control – measures e.g. limiting use, were not implemented to control the risk; and
    • Health surveillance – was not undertaken to identify the problem before it became acute.

    Despite several operations Mr Wood can no longer lift heavy objects or do everyday tasks like turn the pages of a book or open a bottle. The father of four is unable to work as a result.

    Excavation and work at height issues also uncovered

    The court was told that in his dealings with HSE, Mr Wood provided photographs of other failings by the company, including images of a site foreman working from a pallet raised to a roof line by a forklift truck.

    The firm also allowed unsafe work at height and failed to support the sides of a deep excavation, which could have collapsed – as revealed in photographs taken by Mr Wood.

    Both these and his photos of an unsupported excavation were accepted as evidence of further safety breaches.

    Risks from hand held breakers must be assessed

    C J Gowing and Son Ltd, of Sharlands Lane, Blackboys, East Sussex, pleaded guilty to four separate breaches of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 and single breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. The company was fined a total of £45,000 and ordered to pay a further £4,670 in costs.

    After the hearing HSE Inspector Amanda Huff said: 

    “Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful and debilitating condition that Mr Wood need not have developed had his health and his use of vibrating tools been properly monitored and controlled.

    The onus is on employers like C J Gowing to fully consider the risks arising from prolonged use of equipment like hand held breakers, and to ensure their workforce is adequately protected.

    That didn’t happen here and Mr Wood now faces a lifetime of discomfort.”

     

    Latest Construction Health and Safety News

    HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 11th JULY 2018

    hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices register latest version

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 11th July 2018

    SCAFFOLDER DEVELOPMENT EMBRACED BY INDUSTRY

    CPD training attracts over 2500 scaffolders during first year of operation

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 11th July 2018

    SECURITY PANELS FELL DESPITE EARLY WARNING

    Firm fined £1/4 million after worker crushed by falling fencing

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 10th July 2018

    VEHICLE STRIKE TRIGGERED FALL OF ROOF TRUSSES

    Manufacturer failed to identify a suitable safe system of work

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 10th July 2018

    INCIDENT: CHILD STRUCK BY FALLING OBJECT

    Wood falling from scaffold triggers arrest of two on construction site

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 10th July 2018

    IGNITION OF THINNERS VAPOUR CLAIMED TWO LIVES

    Refurbishment project director jailed over fatal use of flammable solvent

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 10th July 2018

    HSE LONDON REFURBISHMENT CAMPAIGN FINDINGS

    hselogo1Material breaches of law found at over 50% of London sites visited

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 4th July 2018

    CURFEW AND TAGGING FOR RECALCITRANT SCAFFOLDER

    Suspended jail sentence handed down after unsafe work at height

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 4th July 2018

    CONSTRUCTION SECTOR DEATHS RISE SHARPLY

    HSE report construction worker deaths increase by 27% during 2017/18

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 4th July 2018

    BUILD UK UPDATE KEY CONSTRUCTION H&S ADVICE

    Majors industry body endorses “go to” source of H&S information

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 2nd July 2018

    OXYGEN CYLINDER “FIRED” INTO WORKSHOP

    Violent discharge of gas bottle seriously injured two engineers

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 2nd July 2018

    PRISON SENTENCE OVER FAILURE TO MANAGE RISK

    Sole trader contractor ignored HSE advice once too often

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 2nd July 2018

    DEATH EXPOSED MINIMAL MEWP MAINTENANCE

    Court told about “almost complete” lack of MEWP maintenance

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st June 2018

    CONTRACTOR FAILED TO IDENTIFY ASBESTOS PRESENCE

    ACMs disturbed during works and firm failed to take suitable actions

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st June 2018

    FALL THROUGH ROOF ON LOCAL COUNCIL BUILDING

    Fragile rooflight fractured when workman ‘misplaced footing’

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st June 2018

    YOUNG WORKER POSED SPECIAL RISK TO CONTROL

    Conviction highlights duty to young persons and the vulnerable

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st June 2018

    TOWER DEFECTS AND UNSAFE SYSTEM CAUSED DEATH

    Maintenance supervisor fell to his death through roof opening

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st June 2018

    UK MAJOR FINED £1/2m OVER HAVS RISK FAILURES

    Danger caused by poor management of vibrating hand tool risk

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st June 2018

    DIRECTOR FAILED TO COMPLY WITH PROHIBITION

    Precautions not taken to prevent excavation collapse and falling

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 11th June 2018

    SCAFFOLD NOT TO INDUSTRY STANDARD OR DESIGN

    Specialist and contractor in court over unsafe work at height

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 7th June 2018

    ROAD WORKER RUN OVER BY ROAD ROLLER

    Reversing alarm not working and warning light not fitted

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 5th June 2018

    CLIENT AND SURVEYOR FINED OVER ASBESTOS SURVEY

    Refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey proved inadequate

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 5th June 2018

    FATALITY: ROAD WORKER DRAGGED ALONG ROAD

    Night shift worker loses life when struck by road sweeping vehicle

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 3rd June 2018

    CDM PRINCIPAL DESIGNERS AVOID HSE ENFORCEMENT

    Regulator enforcement database reveals few notices involve CDM PDs

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 3rd June 2018

    PROPERTY MANAGERS FINED WITH CONTRACTOR

    Defendants failed to check for asbestos during soffit replacement works

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 29th May 2018
    Total Access Total Access Ethentic Ethentic
    Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data