HAVS hand Injuries cost a council almost £35,000


Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council has been fined £25,000 and ordered to pay £9,417 in costs for two breaches of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005. 

A total of 29 employees employed in the council’s parks and leisure department developed hand–arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). The council has been prosecuted and fined for failing to manage the risk.  The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council after finding that the Council had had not properly assessed the risks staff faced when using vibrating equipment, such as strimmers while cutting grass, hedges and trees.  

Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) results in numbness, tingling, poor grip and poor circulation in the hands.  Once the condition has developed, the damage is largely irreversible, although reducing or limiting exposure to vibrating tools will prevent it getting worse.

To view a full copy of the Control of Vibration at work Regulations 2005, please click here.


The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 impose a duty on employers to adequately assess risks from possible vibrating tools such as road breakers, hammer drills, chipping hammers, pneumatic hammers,  chainsaws, sanders, strimmers and grinders.  The Regulations expect employers to introduce risk reduction and control measures.  Health surveillance using a tiered approach is recommended in the Regulations, to prevent employees developing Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).

Healthwork has full trained occupational health advisors and physicians who have all been trained in assessing the risk of HAVS.  All out clinicians have attended a Faculty of Occupational Medicine approved HAVS training course, and Healthwork has experience and well tested systems for implementing tiered health surveillance programmes.