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COUNCIL FAILED TO IMPLEMENT STATED HAVS POLICY

Fined £150k over failure to control and monitor hand-arm vibration hazard

Wrexham County Borough Council has been fined £150,000 after a 57-year old man was diagnosed with Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) in September 2015.

Wrexham Magistrates’ Court heard that the injured man worked in the council StreetScene department and used vibrating tools.

The HSE investigation revealed that council failed to manage the hazard from vibrating hand-tools following a council internal an audit in February 2011 which identified a failure to assess the risk to employees from vibration and subsequently developing HAVS.

Declared policy on HAVS not implemented

The council developed a number of policies dating back to 2004 to tackle the risk of HAVS, however it was found these policies were not implemented.

Following the introduction of HAVS occupational health surveillance for users of vibrating tools a further eleven diagnoses of HAVS or Carpal tunnel syndrome have been reported.

 

 

  • Wrexham County Borough Council of the Guildhall, Wrexham pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The council has been fined £150,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £10,000.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Mhairi Duffy said:

“This employee now suffers from a long term, life changing illness. The council should have implemented the policy they devised following the audit in 2011.

Workers’ health should not be made worse by the work they do; all employees have the right to go home healthy at the end of the working day.”

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