A housing association has been sentenced over its failure to manage employees’ exposure to vibration after one worker contracted hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS).

Burnley Magistrates’ Court was told that grounds maintenance workers for Calico Homes were regularly exposed to vibration from gardening equipment. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an investigation after an employee who had previously worked in this department was diagnosed with HAVS in August 2017. It found that Calico Homes had not risk-assessed the vibratory tools. It said the company was unaware of the extent to which employees were exposed to vibration and had therefore failed to implement suitable control measures. It had also failed to provide its workers with instruction and training.

Calico Homes, which owns and manages around 4,600 homes in Lancashire, pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. It was fined £20,000 and must pay costs of £4,335. HSE inspector Jennifer French said: “This was a case of the company failing to implement control measures to manage the risk of vibration. If they had done this, and provided adequate training to employees, then the affected employee would not have developed the condition.”