A company been fined £120,000 after a worker suffered serious head injuries after being hit in the face with a scaffold pole, causing him to fall backwards.
There was 18 fatalities in the workplace by being struck by a moving object and 15 fatalities caused by contact with moving machinery in 2020/2021* Statistics from HSE
The employee injured sustained permanent brain damage as a result of the incident on 3 April 2017.
He had been preparing to start a paddle mixer to mix concrete at the facility. The paddle mixer door however would not open as hard concrete had built around it.
Using a scaffold pole, a colleague of the injured managed to open the door. This caused the pole to spin and hit him in the face with such force that he was thrown backwards, hitting his head and losing consciousness.
This led to him breaking his jaw and suffering permanent brain damage.
HSE Investigation findings
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the company provided an unguarded mixer for employees to use and that the mixer’s door regularly jammed. The company also failed to ensure that there was a safe system of work in place to release the mixer’s door.
The investigation also found that as the mixer was unguarded, workers were able to develop and adopt an unsafe system of work to release the door, which ultimately resulted in these severe and life changing injuries.
It was also noted that the company failed to supervise workers that were using the mixer at its site.
The company was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay £14,138.06 in costs on 5 July 2023.
HSE inspector Gethyn Jones said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by implementing suitable control measures and safe working practices.
“Ensuring that safe systems of work are adopted and supplemented with adequate supervision to ensure they are followed is a fundamental requirement of the Health and Safety at work etc Act 1974. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”
Safe and compliant workplaces reduce risk and prevent harm
Health and safety risk assessments help you to identify anything that could cause injury in your workplace.
To be legally compliant, organisations need to do regular health and safety risk assessments to reduce workplace harm and eliminate costly fines. Often, it’s not about eliminating risk completely, it’s about controlling the risk and providing a safe framework that your workplace can adhere to.
Covid-19 is an example of how risk cannot be completely eliminated, but rather about implementing measures that adhere to safety standards and prevent the risk of your whole workforce being affected.
The Safety First way
After we have done a thorough health and safety risk assessment, our qualified technicians will:
- Demonstrate how compliant you are
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- Identify measures that need to be implemented to control any risks
- Advise which members of staff need to be included in controlling risk
- Provide regular risk reports
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