Partners who failed to control vibration exposure fined when employee gets HAVS

Two partners in a construction firm have been fined for failing to adequately control the risk to its employees from exposure to vibration when using power tools.

Employees of Roywood Contractors worked at various sites using tools without adequate control of their exposure to harmful vibration. As a result, an employee who had been working at the company for 12 years suffered ill-health from hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS).

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that on or before the 15 January 2020 the company failed to assess the risk to employees from exposure to vibration adequately by not having appropriate measures to control exposure or place employees under suitable health surveillance to monitor their condition.

Andrew Hatto and Paul Kiff, trading as Roywood Contractors, of Tilford Road, Tilford, Farnham, Surrey, both admitted at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court on September 20 that they had breached Regulation 6(1) and 7(1) of the Control of Vibration Regulations 2005. They were each fined £1,150 and ordered to pay costs of £3,500 each.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Leah Sullivan said: “This was a case of the company completely failing to grasp the importance of hand-arm vibration syndrome health surveillance.

“If they had understood why health surveillance was necessary, it would have ensured that they had the right systems in place to monitor worker’s health and the employee’s condition would not have been allowed to develop to a severe and life altering stage.”

For HSE guidance on controlling HAVS, go to