Many accidents in the work place happen due to carelessness and the lack of general health and safety procedures being set up. Breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act means that you open yourself up to huge fines and a bad reputation.
Fall at Work
This can put your job and the jobs of your employees at risk. At best you will receive a fine, at worst you could lose your company, and face a custodial sentence. Health and Safety should be a priority as it really is a matter of life and death.
Firm Receives Fine for Accident in the Workplace
Construction worker Kevin Clark suffered serious injury when scaffolding he was standing on to clean windows dislodged beneath him on May 1st 2009. The platform gave way and as a result Clark fell to the ground four meters below.
The injuries Clark sustained included a fractured foot and crushed vertebrae in his spine. Clark spent two weeks in hospital and has had steel rods placed in his spine. He lives in constant pain and has lost a lot of mobility which has affected his quality of life. As a direct result of this he is now unsure if he will ever be able to return to the construction trade.
HSE Investigation Pinpointed Failings
As with all accidents which occur in the work place, Clark’s employers Ian Allan Building Contractors Ltd were investigated by the Health and Safety Executive. The investigators discovered that the company had failed to protect the safety of Clark. They had failed to oversee and manage the alterations which had made the scaffold become an unsafe platform to work on.
The scaffold should have been inspected every week to ensure it was safe, and the company had failed to carry out these inspections. They also failed on the count of locating the risks which had occurred due to the incorrect alterations and they were also accused of allowing their employees to use the unmonitored scaffolding.
In total Ian Allan Building Contractors Ltd were fined £3000. £1500 of this fine was for breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974 for which the company pleaded guilty.
Lack of Checks Cost Employee Health and Livelihood
Mr Clark stated that he used the scaffolding trusting that it was safe. He said that if the scaffolding had been checked the dangers would have been identified. This would have meant the accident would have been avoided.
The HSE inspector Andrea Robbins, who concentrates on the construction industry, wanted to stress the importance of health and safety at work. Scaffolding has to be built in a standard, recognised method. All alterations need to be performed by a competent employee and once erected it is essential that it is continually inspected at least once a week.
Construction Sites have a Responsibility to the Public and their Employees
Veritas Health and Safety Consultants use construction expertise to help you ensure that you are working and maintaining a safe environment. If you would like to discuss our Health and Safety construction services please contact our experts. We have a wide range of services from helping you with your CHAS application, to writing risk assessments and your health and safety policy. Avoid accidents in the work place and call us on 0800 1488 677.