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As it’s the run up to Christmas (yes, we dared to mention the ‘C’ word), we have decided to shower our readers with some news stories. Unfortunately, these stories are pretty scary but this is why we are highlighting them. Health and Safety is imperative in the workplace, otherwise…..

A story posted on 4th November in Leicestershire Live describes a recent event unfortunately involving amputation. Following an industrial accident a worker had to go through amputation of three fingers and also suffered a serious leg injury. A court was told how a man and some colleagues were replacing parts of a specific machine when a spare part fell, injuring him.

Why did this happen?

Regrettably, it transpired that no risk assessment had been carried out for the specific task. In addition, employees had not received adequate levels of training for this particular job.

What happened to the firm in question?

Having pled guilty to a breach of Sections 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, the firm in question were fined £133,000. They also received a bill for costs amounting £6,346.

What can be taken from this sequence of events?

It’s clear that working without the relevant standards, policies and training in place can cause serious injury. The HSE mean business in terms of taking action against those not fully complicit and this should be taken as a harsh warning.

Our next story is particularly sad, involving a fatality. Should the correct measures have been securely in place, this shocking event could have been completely avoided.

Occurring in 2013 a scaffolder was crushed under the rear wheels of a reversing dumper truck. This happened on a building site and when investigated, the HSE found the company in question had failed to separate vehicles from pedestrians on site. It was also determined that no banksman was provided. A banksman is responsible for directing the movement of large vehicles. Because of these two irresponsible mistakes, a man lost his life.

What happened to the firm in question?

The company did of course receive a hefty fine to the sum of £500,000. They also had to pay costs of £101,000. Had they have applied correct procedures, no one would have lost a life and they would not have received a bill for over half a million pounds. In addition, the subcontractor received a fine of £300,000 and costs of £17,000 for not supplying a banksmen. During the court case itself, a member of the HSE stated how the tragedy was wholly avoidable.

Our Conclusions

We have offered two very different stories, each with harrowing results. One worker has been left with life changing injuries and second lost his life. The point is that both of these accidents could have and should have been avoided. Policies, procedures and risk assessments are an imperative factor of the workplace.

Comply now or you could be reading about an accident in your company.

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