An employee sustained a crush injury while conducting an inspection. As a result, two companies have been fined.
An engineer was conducting an inspection of a fire suppression system at the bottling plant. There were side panels in place on the system that acted as fixed guards. The guards prevent access to dangerous moving parts. The panels were removed. This allowed employee access for inspections.
Unfortunately, only a part of the machine was isolated from power sources. As a result, the employee suffered a crush injury to his right side including his chest wall, shoulder, and upper leg. He also sustained a cut to the top of his head when an extractor device in the unit moved down on top of him and pinned him to the ground.
Investigation of The Crush Injury
The Health & Safety Executive conducted an investigation into the incident. They discovered that the fire suppression systems did not have a suitable risk assessment.
The company had also failed to provide employees with the required information and training in relation to machinery hazards. They were also not familiarised with preventative measures that should have been taken. This would have controlled the risk arising from the hazards in this incident.
The companies also failed to provide its employees who were working on the units with the necessary safety information. They would have identified the full nature of work activities, if they had. As a result, effective risk assessment measures could have been put in place. Both companies were very compliant with the HSE investigation and have since implemented new safe systems of work after the accident.
The two companies pleaded guilty to Health & Safety breaches, committed between 20 December 2016 and 22 February 2017. A £50,000 fine was issued to both companies as a result.
The Head of the Health & Safety Investigation Unit spoke after the prosecution. ‘This prosecution and the sentence should serve to remind employers that failure to fulfil their obligations can have serious consequences and that they will be held to account for their failings.’
How We Can Help
This case really highlights the importance of having a suitable risk assessment. If the company had distributed the requires safety information effectively, the accident could have been avoided.
Not sure how to go about getting a risk assessment started? Our friendly team is on hand to help. Our consultancy team will come to your site and create a personalised risk assessment specifically for your company’s needs and working environment. Why not get in touch with us today to find out more about what AW Safety can offer you?
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