Sefton Magistrates’ Court has imposed a substantial fine on an Exeter based company (‘the company’) which pleaded guilty to breaches of Health & Safety Regulations when an employee’s hand was severely injured by defective hydraulic cutters.
Amandeep Murria of Kangs Solicitors sets out the circumstances.
The Circumstances | Kangs Solicitors Health and Safety Team
- Whilst working on a fridge dismantling line at the company’s site in St Helens, the employee reported a defect in the operation of the hydraulic cutters.
- Unfortunately, the procedure to render the equipment safe was not followed.
- The defective cutters were left in close proximity to where the employee was working and when he tried to move them out of the way they amputated the top of his index finger on his right hand and partially severed another finger.
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 £133,000
- ordered to pay Prosecution Costs of £4,204
An Inspector from the Health & Safety Executive, Catherine Lyon, was quoted as saying:
“The life changing injuries caused by this accident could have been avoided if the procedure for the safe lock-off and isolation of had been followed“.
“Employers should ensure their safety procedures remain effective by monitoring their use and checking that they are being fully implemented”.
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.
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