Vehicle manufacturer Land Rover has been prosecuted by Great Britain's Health and Safety Executive for failing to take into account the risks associated with workers at its Solihull plant using vibrating hand tools.
Land Rover pleaded guilty to the charges brought against it in relation to activities at its plant in Lode Lane, and was fined $33,266 and ordered to pay $100,805.96 costs. (WCxKit)
The firm was prosecuted after a HSE investigation in 2007 into the working practices concerning two employees in the weld destruct section where air chisels were used to undo welds on cars to test the strength of them.
Two cases of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) had been reported in December 2006. The subsequent investigation found that vibrating hand tools were being used across the plant with a lack of assessment and management of risk and when a health surveillance regime was then made effective, other cases came to light.
Solihull magistrates also heard there was no system in place to measure how long was being spent using the tools by each employee or the levels of vibration. The recommended amount of time for one of the tools to be used was one hour per day per person, but it had been in use for three hours per day.
In all, 10 employees were thought to be affected by ill health attributable to the use of vibrating hand tools at the Solihull plant.
The lack of assessment of risk or time spent working with the tools appears to be an oversight on the company's behalf. There was no previous record of this happening and an improvement notice was served in 2007 which was complied with. None of the employees appear to have been prevented from continuing in the job. (WCxKit)
Land Rover pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
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