Health & Safety Update - Oct 2009
Welcome to October’s Health & Safety Update. This month, we look at the leading cases which have gripped the news headlines over the recent months, including: a company who failed to protect migrant workers against health and safety risks, and also an employee who suffered serious injuries after falling through a roof.
Company fined £13,300 after migrant worker suffers serious injuries
UK businesses are being reminded of their duty to protect their workforce, especially workers from other countries, after a migrant worker employed at a pet bedding company suffered serious injuries when falling into a shredder.
The company was fined £13,300 and ordered to pay full costs of £8,655, after pleading guilty to breaching section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Falls from height
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are once again warning employers to ensure they assess the risks of falling from height in the workplace. This warning comes after a recent event where a worker fell almost ten metres through a roof into an occupied factory.
The contractor was fined £6,000 and the sub contractor faced a fine of £3,000 when both pleading guilty to charges under section 3(1) and 3(2) respectively of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Last year 34 people were killed following falls from height during construction work, making it the largest cause of fatalities in the industry. The measures which should have been taken to prevent this incident happening were straightforward and well documented. Both contractors involved failed to recognise the risks posed by the presence of fragile rooflights on this building, or to establish their fragility prior to work beginning.HSE inspector Alastair Brown
Unguarded machinery leads to cracked ribs
The HSE has prosecuted a manufacturing company following an incident where a worker became trapped in machinery, cracking his ribs. The company was fined £4,500 and ordered to pay full costs of £1,050 at Chester Magistrates Court.
In this example fixed guards and a padlocked gate would have stopped the employee from entering the machine and accessing the underside of a tipping table, which is used to tip debris onto a conveyor belt. But the guards and gate were not fitted until after the incident.
Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 states: Every employer shall ensure that measures are taken... which are effective:
- to prevent access to any dangerous part of machinery..., and
- to stop the movement of any dangerous part of machinery before any part of a person enters the danger zone.
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