Workplace accidents can cause death
Health and Safety, SF Compliance Solutions

Serious Workplace accidents Still Cause Of Concern For HSE

A driver has been killed in a workplace accident in Salford, Manchester. This is just one of many workplace accidents that have sadly ended with a worker dying. The worker was waiting for his trailer to be loaded when the accident happened. He suffered serious head injuries as a result of the accident, and sadly later died in hospital after falling unconscious.  

Since then, the wine company has since been fined £800,000 by the HSE. As well as being ordered to pay costs of around £5000. 

HSE on workplace accidents

Finding that there had been a number of failings, the HSE ruled that the wine company’s health and safety was not fit for purpose. This included an out of date risk assessment and lack of proper signage. Has this been in place, visiting drivers would have been warned about site safety.

At the trial, the HSE found the company guilty of breaching section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. Speaking after the hearing, an inspector for the HSE stated that the death was preventable. The lack of ‘clear controls’ meant drivers were unaware of expectations on site.

The HSE has been clear that companies who have loading areas must provide information and display clear instructions to visiting drivers. In addition to this, there must be clear segregation in place to ensure the site is safe for everyone who has access to it. 

Sadly, if ‘easy steps’ were taken to reduce the risk of injury on site, the fatal workplace accident may not have happened. 

Health and safety at work act

The Health and safety at work act is a piece of legislation that organisations must comply with. And, within this act there are clear and concise legal expectations placed on businesses to ensure safety of employees at all times. Including protecting them from workplace accidents, ill health and death. 

When breaches happen, the HSE don’t fail to take action against those companies who fail to implement the correct controls and measures. And I think we can see this reflected in the case of the HGV driver who lost his life. It’s also reasonable to expect that after workplace accidents are highlighted, it makes other companies reflect on their own health and safety provision.

Reducing workplace accidents

Importantly, when it comes to safeguarding employee health and well being, we know that legal expectations can be overwhelming. This can be especially true if a business doesn’t have a dedicated officer onsite to take care of things. 

As a rule, when it comes to aiming to reduce the chance of workplace accidents, we should follow this guide:

  1. Conduct regular risk assessments – Especially when something is new or changes. This will help to refocus the requirements of the business 
  2. Maintain and regularly inspect equipment to minimise the risk to operators
  3. Plan and prioritise regular training for all employees
  4. Make sure your premises display clear and direct signage
  5. Keep a record of all accidents so that you can highlight any red flags and take action. 

Safety First

Finally, Safety should come first, always. That’s our company ethos! We want to make sure it’s yours as well. Together with organisations, we work towards ensuring that safety is prioritised for workers in and around the UK. Furthermore, something which we don’t often talk about is how our business works within various industries on many different types of occupational health and safety. 

An overview of our service portfolio can be found here. Or information on our risk assessments for health and safety are here.

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