Health board fined £160,000 after employees diagnosed with Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome

Employees at Powy teaching health board routinely operate hand-held power tools without assessing the risks from vibration exposure.

hand arm vibration syndrome photo

hand arm vibration syndrome photo

Powys teaching health board was fined after three employees were diagnosed with hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS).

Employees at Powy teaching health board routinely operate hand-held power tools without assessing the risks from vibration exposure.

The handheld tools are lawnmowers, strimmers, and hedge cutters.

There was no monitoring and no estimate of the exposure to vibration while the workers operated the tools for several hours. 

Health and safety executive investigation.

The health and safety executives found out that the Powys teaching health board failed to assess the level of exposure of the risk to workers and equally provided limited information, instruction and training to their staff. It ignored requests from its occupational health department to conduct a risk assessment.

HSE inspector Joe Boast said: “This was a case of the health board failing to grasp the importance of managing its staff’s exposure to vibration while using hand-held power tools.

The Fine for the hand arm vibration syndrome case

On 22 November 2022, at Wrexham Magistrates’ Court, The Powys Teaching Health Board of Glasbury House, Bronllys Hospital, Bronllys, Powys, Wales, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

They were fined £160,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,599.

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