Safety Woes: Avoidable Workplace Accidents in May
Posted by Paula Stead on
Every month the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigates companies for failing to follow necessary safety procedures. The result of the investigates can be extremely serious, from fines through to prison sentences.
The impact of not following safety procedures can not only lead to physical injury in the workplace, but also long-term conditions as a result of being exposed to chemicals and take years to develop. This is the primary reason why personal protective equipment, or PPE, is often required as it protects users against physical harm or hazards in their working environment.
Below is a selection of companies that the HSE found last month (May 2019) to be in breach of the necessary safety procedures a business must take and the outcome.
Failing to provide face masks (respiratory protection)
In 2015 a homeowner found a 30-year old worker deceased in their bathroom whilst laying flooring as a result of using a highly toxic adhesive substance. The deceased workers employer had not undertaken the necessary health and safety procedures to ensure protective masks were provided and used by employees.
As a result of the above, the business was fined £250,000 and pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Furthermore, the company supplying the adhesive had not properly warned users of the danger to human life and was fined £500,000.
Unsafe removal of asbestos
A company responsible for demolition work of a building containing asbestos failed to follow any of the necessary procedures relating to the removal of asbestos, as it would’ve cost more and resulted in delays.
Sherwood Homes Limited placed contractors in harms way and no details of how the asbestos was removed or deposed of was documented. As a result, the company was fixed £170,000. In addition to this, one of their directors was fined £6,500 for their part.
Failing to provide ‘working at height’ equipment
A farmer in Wrexham has pleaded guilty and been fined £26,000 for failing to undertake any planning and providing no safety equipment to an employee who was asked to work at height.
The worker was fatally injured after falling from a ladder whilst working on a gutter on a farm building.
How does your business avoid such rulings?
The rulings that we highlight cover failings such as not undertaking health and safety procedures surrounding protective workwear. According to the law, it is the responsibility of every business to ensure the necessary health and safety procedures are carried out.
It is recommended that you enlist the help of a health and safety professional who will ensure you adhere to rules and regulations.