Individuals with health and safety jobs play a crucial role in minimising the risks that exist within workplaces. Without their efforts, the wellbeing of many more people would be placed in danger.
A case involving a firm in Nuneaton recently highlighted the importance of effective health and safety measures. It demonstrated that when lapses occur, the consequences can be serious.
During a recent hearing at Leicester Magistrates’ Court, a furniture firm was handed a fine of £7,000 for safety breaches and it was also ordered to pay costs of £2,695.
The case related to an incident that occurred in February last year in which a worker sustained multiple fractures when his arm was drawn around a paper roll on a gluing machine. The individual, who did not wished to be named, was working on a line where glue is sprayed on to furniture panels. He was freed by firefighters 40 minutes later.
Although he subsequently tried to return to work, he was too traumatised by the incident to stay.
An investigation conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that the company had increased the size of the paper roller without assessing the risks of the change and without training workers in a new method.
Following the hearing, HSE inspector Neil Ward said: “[The firm] failed to properly assess any new risks to the workforce as a result of the changes they implemented or to develop a safe way of working and train the staff accordingly.
“The ease with which the company very quickly put in a safe method of work after the incident demonstrated that this incident was entirely avoidable. The unsafe method of work had been going on for some months without being tackled by any management in the firm and as a result a young man has suffered a great deal of physical and mental pain.”
By filling health and safety vacancies and making sure they conduct proper risk assessments, companies can minimise the risk of accidents like this occurring.