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MANUFACTURING: The Latest Health and Safety Prosecutions

By Andy Hall

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On 25 July 2017, a production operative had to have three fingers amputated after sustaining injuries at C J Wildbird Foods Ltd while operating a mixing extraction unit at the company’s site in Upton Magna, Shrewsbury. The employee had been in the process of levelling out the waste dust that collected in a large bag located underneath a rotary valve on the mixing plant...

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It is vital that when you source new equipment you stop and consider risk assessment, training of staff and ongoing maintenance before it is put into use. Whilst guarding may need to be removed for maintenance you should consider a permit to work to cover this activity so you can ensure you control this process. Staff should be trained to visually check equipment before it is used for defects including missing guards and to never use defective equipment. We would always recommend you undertake regular documented health and safety hazard spot checks which can be easily recorded in Safety Cloud.

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Sheffield Crown Court heard that on 10 June 2015, John Townsend was leak testing eight 1500 litre cylinders, by applying compressed air inside to create pressure, at the company’s Sheffield site. Whilst in the process of venting the air through the test manifold, it catastrophically failed and fatally injured Mr Townsend...

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This is a really sad case and highlights just how vital it is for you to identify all the hazards involved in your workplace. The hierachy of control reminds us that wherever possible hazards must be eliminated or if this is not possible then substituted, I would always recommend you stop to consider whether you can eliminate or substitute hazardous substances such as corrosion inhibitors.

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Where this can not be avoided you should ensure you undertake a risk assessment to consider who can be harmed and ensure you implement clear controls to prevent injury. We would recommend you invlove your staff in the risk assessment process and where required implement a safe system of work which identifies hazards and clearly sets out the steps that must be taken to control the risks.

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Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard that, in November 2017, an employee of Lemon Groundwork Solutions Limited was using a gantry crane to lift a steel cage from a stack of cages at the company site in Wickford, Essex...

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The HSE provide an Approved Code of Practice for lifting equipment which clearly lays out the requirements employers should follow when using overhead cranes. Despite warnings from previous incidents it would appear the business had failed to adequately risk assess the use of cranes and had not provided training to employees.

Safety Cloud allows you to create a training matrix and search for training gaps in your business so you can see where staff are not trained. Where you are unsure if you are compliant we will happily undertake a gap analysis for you and provide a detailed report to identify your compliance gaps and make recommendations to help you put things right.

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Taunton Magistrates’ Court heard that on 5 March 2018 an employee of Cronite Castings Ltd was manually loading a 500kg capacity foundry furnace with metal charge. Solid pieces were added to molten metal and some pieces were wet. An explosion occurred resulting in ejection of a quantity of molten metal from the furnace. The employee suffered molten metal burns to their torso and hand...

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Andy

This prosecution highlights a number of failings which could have been identified as part of routine health and safety checks. We work with our clients to provide bespoke documented health and safety checks to help you check and demonstrate whether the controls in your risk assessments are working. Where concerns are identified such as a leaking roof or incorrect or missing PPE actions can be created and assigned to the right staff so they can evidence they have acted in time. This helps you demonstrate a proactive approach to health and safety management and provides evidence of good due diligence.

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An engineering company has been fined after a 31-year-old employee fell through a hole in a mezzanine floor during construction work being carried out in Bristol. Bristol Magistrates’ Court heard that on 13 November 2018, an employee of N&C Engineering Services Limited was involved with the installation of flooring at Albion Dockside Works, Hanover Place, Bristol...READ MORE

Andy

Falls from height continue to be the main cause of fatality to workers, the Work at Height Regulations require work at height to be avoided as far as reasonably practicable. In this case the fall from height would have been avoidable with adequate controls such as edge protection or the use of safety nets. Prior to any work at height we would always you recommend considering whether this can be avoided and then where this is not possible undertaking a risk assessment to control the risks.

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Tags: Manufacturers, Health and Safety, Accidents at Work, Risk Assessments