Organisations with vulnerable people under their care should take extra precautions against the risk of fines and injury compensation claims by managing risks effectively, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The warning comes after Powys Local Health Board was prosecuted by the authority following the death of an inpatient at the Bronllys Adult Mental Illness Unit in Brecon in 2004.
An investigation found that managers had failed to act on a risk assessment that identified potential ligature points that people intent on harming themselves could use to do so.
"Powys Local Health Board had a duty to provide a physically safe environment but failed to do so," commented HSE principal inspector Colin Mew.
"There was also no system in place to ensure that measures identified to eradicate risks to patients had actually been carried out."
It follows news that 18 female patients may be seeking injury compensation after they were wrongly told they did not have breast cancer.