Balfour Beatty fined £500,000 for white finger exposure

Grant Prior 3 months ago
Share

Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions Ltd has been fined £500,000 after exposing workers to Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) over a nine-year period.

An HSE investigation found that workers at the company were exposed to the risk of hand-arm vibration between 2002 and 2011.

HAVS is a permanent condition affecting the nerves and blood vessels of the hand.

It is also known as white finger and can cause pain, tingling and numbness, making it difficult to carry out everyday tasks.

The condition can render a worker disabled, affecting their chances of employment.

Sheffield Crown Court heard that workers at the company’s sites were regularly exposed to hand-arm vibration while operating hand-held power tools such as hydraulic breakers and floor saws.

An HSE investigation found that the company failed in its legal duty to ensure the risks to workers who used these tools was kept to as low a level as reasonably practicable.

Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions Ltd. failed to assess the risk to workers’ health, failed to put in place and monitor suitable risk control measures and failed to put in place a suitable system of health surveillance.

The company also failed to report to the enforcing authorities a significant number of cases of employees diagnosed with HAVS as was legally required.

Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions Ltd of Sheffield pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was fined £500,000 and was ordered to pay costs of £195,000.

A Balfour Beatty spokesperson said: “The shortcomings in processes identified in this case took place many years ago and were addressed prior to the start of the investigation by the HSE.

“The judge acknowledged both this and that there was no evidence of anyone coming to harm as a result.

“Balfour Beatty takes its responsibilities both for Health and Safety extremely seriously.”

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Christine Mellor said: “This case was about failing to protect workers. Exposure to hand-arm vibration is a well-known risk which Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions Ltd. failed to adequately control.

“The company failed to heed warnings. Early health surveillance detected ill health but still this was not acted upon to prevent on-going exposure.

“This is a particularly serious case because of the extent and duration of failures. The breaches were repeated over several years and this resulted in persistent poor compliance.”

Latest news

Shake-up for £2.9bn MoD hard FM contracts

Post-Carillion bid race for MoD estate and housing regional FM contracts
2 hours ago

Caddick takes workforce plastic-free

Workers given aluminium drinks bottles in bid to bin single-use plastics
33 mins ago

Wates wins 7th Leeds Wellington Place job

Work will start of £35m 4 Wellington Place project next month
9 hours ago

Kier targets £50m disposals to cut £375m debt

Firm sets out debt reduction plan in robust year-end results
14 hours ago

Betting Spy: Spurs to shrug off recent troubles

Tottenham can kick-start a win treble with Leicester and Crystal Palace
25 mins ago

Keltbray concrete structures boss exits

Keltbray Structures MD Gordon Dunne on gardening leave
1 day ago

141 jobs axed as M&E specialist George Birchall fails

Larger FM business George Birchall Service avoids administration
14 hours ago

Morgan Sindall bags £384m London scheme first phase

Hackney scheme includes an academy, leisure centre and six blocks of flats
14 hours ago

Mace confirms £180m Olympic Park East Village deal

Firm will fine-tune its 'rising factory' method on the No6 East Village project
14 hours ago

Contractor trials mixed reality headsets on school site

BIM and Microsoft HoloLens used to check M&E work
2 days ago

PM pledges extra £2bn for housing associations over 10 years

Longterm funding will be made available from 2022-2029
1 day ago

Jacobs to lead Edinburgh city centre transformation plan

Team will set out plan for historic overhaul of streets and public space
1 day ago

Costain and Galliford Try fined £2.8m after worker loses toes

Massive fine after accident at Cheshire water treatment works
2 days ago

Boost your online presence – join the new Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers will showcase their products, services and latest stories
5 months ago

Van Elle shareholders stage AGM revolt

Shareholders block board's ability to issue new shares for acquisitions
2 days ago

£100m Bristol sports arena plan at Ashton Gate stadium

Sports and convention centre will be attached to Lansdown Stand
2 days ago

Balfour Beatty raises £43m from hospital stake sale

Balfour sells 50% stake in Fife Hospital PPP
2 days ago

Kier offloads pensions unit for £3.5m

Third party pension management business administers half of all police pension
2 days ago

Willmott Dixon clinches £38m Winchester sports centre

Work to start in Spring 2019 on major leisure and sports complex
2 days ago

Architect TP Bennett reaches record turnover

Manchester office grows on back of city building boom
2 days ago

Brexit migration plan would “cripple construction”

Industry pleas ignored over need for steady flow of low-skilled site workers
2 days ago

Wates wins £16m Stockport college revamp

Work is due to start in the early new year on Wellington Road Campus
2 days ago

Balfour Beatty pioneers plastic pylons in Scotland

140 composite poles installed by new helicopter crane in just five days
2 days ago

Plan for 55-storey Manchester student skyscraper

Plans submitted for 168m tall red brick tower at Hulme Street
3 days ago

Crossrail sparks threaten stoppages over lack of loos

Electricians threaten to down tools at Bond Street station site
3 days ago

37 firms to pitch innovations for Heathrow expansion

Search for Heathrow’s Innovation Partners progresses for 3rd runway
3 days ago

Engie lands £52m Newbury PRS deal from Grainger

Construction to start by end of year on new "urban village"
3 days ago

Former Severfield boss joins Billington as chairman

Ian Lawson returns to constructional steelwork after recovering from illness
3 days ago

Czech facade specialist wins second scheme in Manchester

Sipral wins facade package for twin tower flats
3 days ago

Keepmoat closes West Midlands office after £13m hit

House builder aims to build more than 4,000 homes this year
3 days ago

Contractor services