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National airline prosecuted for not protecting workers

British Airways PLC has been prosecuted for not protecting their workers’ from hand arm vibrations.

Paisley Sheriff Court heard how employees working within the composite workshop at the Glasgow base, who in the course of their work used hand held power tools to carry out repairs on various components, were exposed to the risk of Hand Arm Vibration (HAVs) a condition that can cause symptoms such as tingling, pins and needles, numbness and pain in the affected persons hands.

The condition can affect sleep when it occurs at night and cause difficulties in gripping and holding things, particularly small items such as screws, doing up buttons, writing and driving.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) highlighted the company’s failure to make a suitable and sufficient risk assessment to control the effect of exposure by workers to the vibrations from hand held tools. Potentially this exposed the work force to the risk of injury whilst working within the workshops.

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

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