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British Airways PLC; Britain’s national airline, has been prosecuted and fined for failing to protect workers from the risks of developing Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome.

Paisley Sheriffs Court heard how workers at the company’s Glasgow workshops frequently had to use hand-held power tools during the course of their work and as a result were exposed to dangerous levels of vibration that could potentially lead to the development of HAVs (Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome). The condition can cause symptoms such as tingling, pins and needles, numbness and pain in an affected person’s hands and wrists. The condition is known to affect sleep when it occurs at night, and can cause long-term difficulty with grip; particularly when it comes to fine-motor skills such as writing, fastening buttons and even driving.

When the HSE investigated the situation they found that the company had failed to make a suitable or sufficient risk assessment to control the exposure of workers to the vibrations of the hand-held tools, thus leading to an increased risk of the workers developing the debilitating condition.

British Airways PLC pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5(1) of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 and was fined £6,500.

Whether you’re using a pneumatic drill, driving a dump-truck or earth-mover, pushing a lawn-mower or even using a hand-held drill as a part of your work, vibration is potentially dangerous. HAVs and Vibration White Finger are just two of the potential issues that exposure to vibration can cause. Employers have a responsibility to ensure that wherever possible exposure to vibration is minimised. This can be done in many ways; changing the machines employees use is one option, changing the way in which the machinery is used in another. Ensuring that employees take regular breaks from work involving vibration is another way of minimising the ill effects.

If you or someone you love has suffered as a result of exposure to vibration in their workplace, you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Our solicitors are on hand right now to listen to you case and advise you as to the best way to take it forward – at no cost to you. There’s no obligation to continue with a case if you don’t want to, so contact us today and see how we can help you get the pay out you deserve.