A company operating a Northumberland saw mill was recently ordered to pay a massive fine and costs by Sunderland Magistrates’ Court following an incident in July 2016 which resulted in an employee having his leg amputated below the knee.

Amandeep Murria of Kangs Solicitors sets out the circumstances.

The Circumstances | Kangs Solicitors Health and Safety Team

The Court heard that in July 2016 an employee of the company attempted to clear a blockage on a conveyor feed and edger machine.

In order to do, he climbed onto the machine, he was caught by moving parts and his trailing leg was amputated below the knee by the saw blade.

The Health & Safety Executive investigation revealed that the company had not implemented adequate safety measures which would have prevented access to the part of the machinery where the most dangerous parts were operating.

Furthermore, the company failed in its duty to ensure employees did not work at dangerous heights and were not exposed to risks by standing on equipment at any time when it may be activated.

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 Lawyers

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2 (1) a of the Act and was fined £400, 000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £3,392.

An Inspector from the Health & Safety Executive, Paul Wilson was quoted as saying:

“Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers.

 

“Had this been done then this worker would not have received life changing injuries”.

How Can We Help? | Kangs Health and Safety Solicitors

Kangs Solicitors have a wealth of knowledge and experience in dealing with all matters of health and safety law.

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

Please feel free to contact our team through any of the solicitors named below who will be happy to provide you with some initial advice and assistance.

Hamraj Kang
hkang@kangssolicitors.co.uk
07976 258171 | 020 7936 6396 | 0121 449 9888

John Veale
jveale@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396

Tim Thompson
tthompson@kangssolicitors.co.uk
020 7936 6396 | 0121 449 9888

Suki Randhawa
srandhawa@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396