Published Sep 10, 2019

Council fined for Hand Arm Vibration failings

Dacorum Borough Council has been fined for exposing seven grounds maintenance workers to Hand Arm Vibration (HAVS), caused by excessive use of power tools.

Luton Magistrates' Court heard how the council reported seven cases of HAVS between May 2015 and June 2016. The affected employees were all part of its grounds maintenance and street care team, looking after the public spaces in Hertfordshire.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the council had not:

  • adequately planned its working methods;
  • trained or informed employees on the risks to their health;
  • limited the duration or magnitude of exposure to vibration;
  • put in place suitable health surveillance to identify problems at any early stage.

Dacorum Borough Council pleaded guilty to breaching the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations SI 2005/1093, fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £28,672.62.

HSE inspector, Rubeena Surnam said, "this was a case of the council failing to identify the risk from hand arm vibration which is a recognised health risk with potentially disabling consequences".

"Unless vibration is identified and properly assessed, an employer won't know the level of risk and whether action is needed to protect workers".