The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has successfully prosecuted a stone masonry company after pleading guilty to offences under Regulation 7 (1) of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 and Regulation 5 (1) and 7 (1) of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005.
The firm was fined £2,500 and was ordered to pay £1,921.29 in costs by Consett magistrates’ court.
The HSE investigation revealed that the boss of the company had failed to protect his employees from the health risks associated with working with silica, the cause of silicosis and lung cancer, and working with vibrating machinery that can cause illnesses such as vibration syndrome.
The HSE explained that the company had failed to either provide masks or appropriate masks to employees.
Additionally, no health surveillance was carried out on employees between 2008 and 2014 which could have identified the early stages of work related diseases.
After the case was heard, HSE Inspector Fiona McGarry said: “Serious irreversible ill health or even death can result from exposure to silica and hand arm vibration syndrome is a permanent disabling condition. Employers need to take action to ensure they are providing adequate control to protect the health of employees.”