NHS trust fined more than £90k for safety breaches

Inadequate
training and staff supervision has cost an NHS trust more than £90,000 in
fines.

The
City of London Magistrates Court ruled that the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust
should pay £45,000 in fines and the full costs of £45,619 for breaches of
health and safety at work legislation and of the Radioactive Substances Act
1993.

Investigations
by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Environment Agency revealed a
catalogue of failings in the management of a radioactive source, caesium 137.

The
investigation revealed serious deficiencies in the training and supervision of
the trust’s staff and in the procedures for tracking, handling and storing the
caesium.

These
failings resulted in the loss of the substance – which has never been found –
risking the exposure of radiation to staff and members of the public.

Investigators
said adequate control over the source could have been achieved very easily by
the trust.

HSE
inspector Emmie Galilee said: "This serves as a reminder to other
employers who use radioactive materials that they should give their staff,
patients and members of the public the level of protection and reassurance they
deserve."

By Michael Millar

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