At Bodmin Magistrates’ Court, a builder based in Cornwall, was fined after pleading guilty to breaching Health & Safety Regulations, when one of his employees suffered from life changing injuries.
Amandeep Murria of Kangs Solicitors sets out the circumstances.
The Circumstances | Kangs Solicitors Health and Safety Team
The Court heard how the builder had agreed to undertake a barn refurbishment in February 2017. The employee, who was aged seventeen at the time, was employed by the builder to use a circular saw for the purposes of cutting wooden sheets.
Unfortunately, whilst using the saw, the blade severely cut through several of the employee’s fingers.
An investigation was undertaken by The Health & Safety Executive, which found the following failures:
- inadequate training and instructions were provided
- ineffective work practices were in place
- the circular saw had not been properly adjusted when the cutting process had started
- the flooring sheets were not sufficiently supported.
The Relevant Law | Kangs Regulatory Law Advisors
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (‘the Act’) provides:
‘2 General duties of employers to their employees.
(1) It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of an employer’s duty under the preceding subsection, the matters to which that duty extends include in particular—
(a) the provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health;
(b) arrangements for ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances;
(c) the provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees;
(d) so far as is reasonably practicable as regards any place of work under the employer’s control, the maintenance of it in a condition that is safe and without risks to health and the provision and maintenance of means of access to and egress from it that are safe and without such risks;
(e) the provision and maintenance of a working environment for his employees that is, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe, without risks to health, and adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for their welfare at work.’
The Hearing | Kangs Health and Safety Solicitors
The builder pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2 (1) of the Act and was:
- fined £1,120
- ordered to pay Prosecution Costs of £8,489.48
An Inspector from the Health & Safety Executive, Dr Jo- Anne was quoted as saying:
“ This injury was easily preventable and the risk associated with the task should have been identified “.
“Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from contact with dangerous parts of machinery to ensure that the risks are given careful attention to ensure they are properly controlled”.
How Can We Help? | Kangs Safety At Work Solicitors
Our specialist solicitors are able to provide advice and assistance throughout the entire criminal process, from the initial intervention by the Health and Safety Executive through to enforcement, interview under caution and ultimately the defence of any ensuing criminal prosecution.
Who Can I Contact For Help? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors
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