Leeds Magistrates’ Court has imposed a fine on a Yorkshire based Wire Manufacturer (‘the company’) which pleaded guilty to breaches of Health & Safety Regulations when an employee was very seriously injured.
Amandeep Murria of Kangs Solicitors sets out the circumstances.
The Circumstances | Kangs Solicitors Health and Safety Team
- In January 2016, specialist machinery used by the company to form mesh by welding metal wires together had developed a fault.
- An employee had been requested to assist in trying to rectify the fault.
- The fault was identified as a result of the employee climbing on top of the machine and carrying out a thorough inspection.
- Whilst steps were being taken to remedy the fault, the employee’s assistant restarted the welding machine.
- The machine began to operate in the automatic mode instead of the manual mode.
- The employee’s lower left leg became trapped and he suffered from serious injuries which required urgent medical hospital treatment.
The Health & Safety Executive conducted a thorough investigation and concluded the following:
- The Company had failed to implement robust safety measures for their employees, ensuring machinery could not be restarted if they were being worked on.
- The Company had failed in its duties to ensure proper procedures were in place for isolating the welding machinery.
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 company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2 (1) of the Act and was:
- fined £16,000
- ordered to pay Prosecution Costs of £4,831.45
An Inspector from the Health & Safety Executive, Jackie Ferguson, was quoted as saying:
“Maintenance and breakdowns are often the most hazardous and poorly controlled area of work. If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the life changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented
How Can We Help? | Kangs Safety At Work Solicitors
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