Inadequate Risk Assessments

A manufacturing company has been fined £180,000 following the death of an employee.

The worker was assembling a large gear case when one of the metal sides weighing 740kg collapsed and crushed him, causing fatal injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)  found that employees had not been told how to safely assemble the gear case. The employer did not adequately train or supervise employees and the task had not been properly risk assessed.

The employer pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to ensure the safety of its employees.

The case reminds us of the importance of both an adequate risk assessment and a safe system of work.

The HSE report that last year alone 25 workers were killed and more than 4,000 suffered major injuries in the manufacturing industry in Great Britain.

Employers must ensure that their employees have a safe system of work for all task undertaken in work and it is not enough to allow them to make up a system of work as they go along. Failure to risk assess tasks is likely to constitute negligence and/or a breach of The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

If you have been injured as a result of your employer’s negligence they may be liable to pay you damages for your pain, suffering and loss of amenity as well as any loss of earnings or other expenses. If you have had an accident at work please contact Gregory Abrams Davidson LLP for advice.