HS – Fined £100,000 After Company Ignored Health & Safety Regulations for Several Years

A Leeds based company has recently been fined and ordered to pay costs totalling more than £100,000 after they ignored health and safety regulations over several years.

Onesubsea UK Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for failing to act on known advice and guidance to protect workers from the risks of developing the debilitating hand arm vibration syndrome.

Leeds Crown Court was told that between 1999 and 2010, the company, then known as Cameron Ltd, exposed employees to risks to their health and safety from the repeated use of hand-held power tools.

The company makes valve assemblies and flow line parts and supplies worldwide to the oil and gas industry. At the time, about 450 of the 1,000 Leeds workers were on the shop floor and a significant number regularly used air guns, grinders, sanders, drills and torque wrenches.

The HSE said after health surveillance restarted at the factory, 24 workers were identified as having symptoms of vibration-related disease during a two year period up to early 2012.

As a result, a number of employees have developed long-term damage to their circulation and nervous systems after contracting HAVS after prolonged use of powered pneumatic hand tools.

Onesubsea UK Ltd, were fined £52,500 and ordered to pay £92,000 in costs after pleading guilty to a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

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