You would imagine that opening a door at work is a fairly risk free operation. You might be surprised though as a recycling company was recently fined after an employee suffered a shattered jaw whilst opening the door of a roll-on roll-off container.
The employee suffered significant injuries, requiring 47 stitches and wiring to his jaw which prevented him from eating solids for three months.
It illustrates how important it is that all tasks at work are adequately risk assessed by employers, as even seemingly trivial work operations can have terrible consequences if they are not properly and safely undertaken.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation in this case showed that the employers had failed to ensure their employees safety. It transpired that there had been three similar accidents in the 6 years prior to the accident.
The HSE point out that the risk of employees being struck by container doors is well known in the waste industry.
Even if the action of opening a door would seem to be without any obvious danger, the occurrence of other accidents ought to put employers on notice of the risk. If they choose to ignore such risk, they not only face a fine but are likely to be responsible for damages in the event that an employee is injured.
If you require any advice in relation to an Accident at Work, please contact Gregory Abrams Davidson LLP on the above number.