At Exeter Crown Court a Devon Contractor was fined and ordered to pay costs after being found guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) and 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Amandeep Murria of Kangs Solicitors sets out the circumstances.
The Circumstances| Kangs Solicitors Health and Safety Team
The Court heard that on the 13th December 2014 a painter, undertaking work for the Devon based contractor, was using a mount elevated work platform when it overbalanced resulting in the painter suffering leg injuries.
The Health & Safety Executive Investigation revealed that:
- there was a complete lack of planned preventative maintenance systems
- workers had not been provided with adequate training
- insufficient instructions had been given on how to carry out pre-use checks.
The Relevant Law | Kangs Regulatory Law Advisors
The Health and Safety at Work 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.’
3 General duties of employers and self-employed to persons other than their employees.
- It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.
The Hearing | Kangs Health and Safety Solicitors
The contractor pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2 (1) a of the Act and:
- was fined £60,000 and
- ordered to pay prosecution costs.
An Inspector from the Health & Safety Executive, Sue Adsett was quoted as saying:
“Owners of high risk work equipment such as cherry pickers have a responsibility to ensure that they are safe. The manufacturers’ maintenance regime should be followed, rather than simply carrying out repairs when the machine breaks down.”
How Can We Help? | Kangs Health and Safety 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.
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