September 2019: The Latest Health and Safety Prosecutions

September 2019: The Latest Health and Safety Prosecutions

Eliza Bonecka

southalls welding health and safety

A manufacturing company has been fined for safety breaches after a worker was severely crushed while fault finding on a mesh welding machine.Worker’s leg crushed in welding machineLeeds Magistrates’ Court was told that on 26 January 2016 an employee at Siddall and Hilton Products Ltd was injured while assisting a colleague on the GRS 144 welding machine at the company’s Brighouse premises...

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SOUTHALLS COMMENT:

The article illustrates the importance of considering the hierarchy of control when looking at work processes. Can the hazard be reduced or even eliminated e.g. different or adapted machinery? This should always be the first consideration of any robust risk assessment that is undertaken. Obviously this isn’t always the case so safe systems of work are an absolutely essential part of safety management and not only need to give clear step by step instructions of how the work is carried out to minimise the potential for error, it must also be properly communicated to the staff affected through robust internal training.

 

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Dacorum Borough Council, a local authority in Hertfordshire, has been fined £100,000 after seven employees developed hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) through excessive use of power tools...

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SOUTHALLS COMMENT:

We have seen the HSE begin to put increasing emphasis on chronic health conditions and the need for them to be properly managed. Ensuring that process risk assessments are completed and include an element of vibration monitoring are undertaken are very important in ensuring the employer can then take appropriate action. This may include looking to purchase modern equipment with lower vibration magnitudes, ensuring servicing and maintenance is undertaken or faulty equipment is removed from use. It would also enable the employer to better plan job rotation. Staff can then be made aware of all of these findings with it also being made very clear of the reasons why the employer is doing this. Health surveillance will help ensure these controls remain relevant and adequate.

 

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A Birmingham company that manufactures chemicals used in sealants and pharmaceuticals has pleaded guilty to health and safety offences after a member of its safety team was struck and killed by a forklift truck while walking in an area of the site designated for pedestrians...

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SOUTHALLS COMMENT:

This prosecution highlights the importance of pedestrian segregation, and the relevance of the hierarchy of control, physical barriers must be part of your strategy.

 

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A company that manufactures wire mesh for use as security fencing or in construction has been fined £16,000 after an employee became trapped in a welding machine that he was attempting to repair. Siddall and Hilton Products used the GRS 144 welding machine at its premises in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, to weld together metal wires to form mesh...

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SOUTHALLS COMMENT:

Interlocks in manufacturing are vital to prevent injury, however it is important that they are tested and challenged. Fixings used should ensure readily available tools cannot be used to override them.

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