Wrexham County Borough Council has been fined after a 57-year old man was diagnosed with Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) in September 2015.
An investigation carried out by the HSE found that the council had failed to address the issue of HAVS following an audit in February 2011, which identified a failure to assess the risk to employees from vibration. The council had 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.
The Council pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, fined £150,000 and ordered to pay costs of almost £11,000.
This is a stark reminder to businesses that they must assess the risks to which their employees are exposed, provide adequate control measures including health surveillance where identified, to ensure that employees go home healthy at the end of the working day.
By Mark Worsnop, Safety Advisor