£60,000 health and safety fine for Rolls-Royce

The auto manufacturer Rolls-Royce has reportedly been fined £60,000 for breaching health and safety regulations which led to a worker developing Carpal tunnel syndrome.

Rolls-Royce employee Allan Thornewill, 55, who worked at the car company’s plant in the Derby suburb of Sinfin, was responsible for cleaning turbine blades. After prolonged exposure to the vibrations produced by these blades, Mr Thornewill developed Carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition affects many people who work with vibrating tools and machinery and causes a lot of pain, numbness and tingling in the hand and fingers.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), looking into the case, said that Rolls-Royce could have prevented Mr Thornewill developing the syndrome by checking for early signs of damage, carrying out a risk assessment, investing in better health and safety training and limiting the amount of time workers spent using vibrating machinery.

At a hearing, the company was fined £60,000 and ordered to pay £18,168 in court costs for breaching health and safety regulations. Following the hearing, HSE inspector Noelle Walker said:

“Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome linked to vibration exposure are preventable.
“However, once the damage is done, it’s permanent with no cure.
“Proper health surveillance is vital to detect and respond to early signs of damage.”