Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court imposed a fine upon a Cheshire based pallet manufacturer (‘the company’) which pleaded guilty to breaches of Health & Safety Regulations resulting in a worker suffering serious fractures to his leg and ankle.
Amandeep Murria of Kangs Solicitors sets out the circumstances.
The Circumstances | Kangs Solicitors Health and Safety Team
- Whilst in the workshop, an employee carrying a pallet was struck by a forklift truck.
- As a result of the impact, the employee suffered serious fractures to his leg and ankle, rendering it impossible for him to work for several months.
- The Health & Safety Executive conducted an extensive investigation regarding the incident and concluded that:
- Although the company had undertaken a risk assessment, it did not appreciate the importance of pedestrian areas in conjunction with marked vehicles.
- There were inadequate measures put in place to ensure workers who were on foot were not placed in unnecessary danger from fork lift trucks which were being operated at the same time.
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.’
3 General duties of employers and self-employed to persons other than their employees.
(1) 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 company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2 (1) and 3 (1) of the Act and was:
- fined £6,500
- ordered to pay Prosecution Costs of £7,362
An Inspector from the Health & Safety Executive, Jane Carroll, was quoted as saying:
“If a suitable system of work had been in place, the injuries sustained by this employee could have been prevented.”
How Can We Help? | Kangs Safety At Work Solicitors
Kangs Solicitors has 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.
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