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Case Study 2

Hand Arm Vibration


Syndrome Risk
Rationale
The Insured, a major manufacturer of precision components and assemblies, employs some 3000
people, with both historic and ongoing activities where HAVS is a foreseeable problem.
Analysis of the account established that new HAVS claims were steadily increasing, peaking at up to
5 per month. Settled cases in the same period peaked at some £14,000 average per month, where
liability was established.
A risk management review of the account established that management of HAVS was, at best,
fragmented. The client had few or no exposure cut-off dates and, in light of the Control of Vibration at
Work Regulations 2005 and case law under ‘Brookes -v- Mainline’ ruling, it was envisaged that future
liabilities arising out of alleged breach of statutory duties could be significant if these deficiencies were
not addressed.
Analysis of VWF notifications by report month

8
Reported
12mth rolling ave
7

5
fcla s
im

4
Noo

0
5

5
5

5
y-9

y-9

y-9

y-9

y-9

y-0

y-0

y-0

y-0

y-0

y-0
-9

-9

-9

-9

-9

-9

-9

-9

-9

-9

-0

-0

-0

-0

-0

-0

-0

-0

-0

-0

-0

-0
n

p
a

a
a

e
M

M
S

S
J

J
Month reported

Analysis of VWF cost of claims settled at a cost

20,000
Reported
18,000 12mth rolling ave

16,000
s(£)

14,000
Averagecost of settedclaim

12,000

10,000

8,000

6,000

4,000

2,000

-
ay-95

ay-96

ay-97

ay-98

ay-99

ay-00

ay-01

ay-02

ay-03

ay-04

ay-05
Jan-95

Sep-95

Jan-96

Sep-96

Jan-97

Sep-97

Jan-98

Sep-98

Jan-99

Sep-99

Jan-00

Sep-00

Jan-01

Sep-01

Jan-02

Sep-02

Jan-03

Sep-03

Jan-04

Sep-04

Jan-05

Sep-05
M

Month reported

Approach
QBE supported the purchase of HAVS monitoring equipment and for the training of 4 risk assessors.
A QBE-preferred specialist training provider and expert in HAVS litigation was sourced to ensure both
statutory and civil needs were being addressed. Following training, all UK sites were visited and
meaningful risk assessments were undertaken. Concurrently, HAVS training was provided to
equipment users as well as Occupational Health monitoring introduced and Planned Maintenance
systems upgraded.

CS2 Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome Risk Page 1 of 2


Impacts
1. The assessments highlighted poor practices, unsuitable and inadequately maintained equipment,
and poor reporting of symptoms, each of which has been addressed
2. Cut-off dates are now established which will also support a defence against future claims
3. HAVS claims now see average settlements of less than £2000 per month; a consequence of
historic exposures, whereas new exposure claims have disappeared
4. It is estimated that payback from the investment was less than 2 years.
The above impacts are an indication of mutual financial success for both QBE and the Insured.

CS2 Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome Risk Page 2 of 2