As reported in RPC’s December 2016 Health and Safety update, ignoring the long-term risks of exposing employees to vibration or noise might have more immediate consequences.

Following a guilty plea under Regulations 6(2) and 7(1) of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005, Thanet District Council was fined £250,000 and ordered to pay £18,325.84 costs after an HSE investigation found that the Council had failed to take steps to eliminate or control exposure to vibration or to inform their workers about the risks of exposure to vibrating tools and how to control it.

Now that employers have had plenty of time to recognise and address their obligations under the 2005 Vibration and Noise Regulations, the HSE appears likely to take a more proactive interest in businesses with long-term health hazards. The possibility of criminal prosecution makes it even more necessary to address the factors that cause industrial disease, and to secure evidence of compliance with the relevant Regulations at Policy inception.