Lack of suitable and sufficient risk assessment triggers prosecution
British Airways PLC has been prosecuted for not protecting workers from hand arm vibration.
Paisley Sheriff Court heard how employees working within the composite workshop at the Glasgow base used hand-held power tools during the course of their work to carry out repairs on various components.
This work exposed workers to the risk of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) a condition with symptoms including tingling, pins and needles, numbness and pain in the hands of persons affected.
The condition can affect sleep when it occurs at night and cause difficulties in gripping and holding, particularly small items such as screws, doing up buttons, writing and driving.
Potential exposure to risk of injury
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) highlighted the company’s failure to make a suitable and sufficient risk assessment to control the effect of exposure by workers to the vibrations from hand-held tools.
Potentially this exposed the work force to the risk of injury whilst working within the workshops.
British Airways PLC, Waterside, Harmondsworth, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5 (1) of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations (2005) and was fined £6,500.