Birmingham Magistrates’ Court has recently imposed a massive fine upon a Warwick based company (‘the company’) following an accident which sadly resulted in an employee suffering a fatal injury.
The company had pleaded guilty to breaches of Health & Safety Regulations.
Amandeep Murria of Kangs Solicitors comments upon this recent Prosecution.
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The Circumstances | Kangs Health and Safety Solicitors
On 18 June 2017, the employee was using high-pressure water jetting equipment to clear paint residue from pipes in the company’s paint shop when he was struck by a hose attachment which, sadly, resulted in the fatal injury.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive concluded that:
- although the company had carried out an assessment identifying the risks for using and operating the equipment, the appropriate measures required to substantially minimise the risks to health & safety were not properly implemented.
- the training and supervision provided by the company was of a poor standard.
Relevant Law | Kangs Solicitors Health and Safety Team
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 £2,000,000.00
- ordered to pay Prosecution Costs of £30,000.
An Inspector from the Health & Safety Executive, was quoted as saying:
‘Companies must understand that high risk activities require a thorough risk assessment process and robust management systems to protect their employees from risk of serious or fatal injuries.
It is not good enough for companies to assume they are doing all they can to control the risk just because there have been no previous incidents.’
How Can We Help? | Kangs Safety At WorkSolicitors
Our specialist solicitors 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.
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