A UK energy firm responsible for North sea oil and gas mining has been fined £220,000 when a worker fell 15 metres due to a platform collapsing.
A magistrates court has heard that the platform was ‘misjudged’ by planning teams as not included in the main structure that was being taken down on that day. This meant that the collapse of the platform led the worker to fall 15 metres onto a hard surface, and consequently sustained ‘life threatening’ injuries.
Health and safety risk assessment
The HSE found that the firm had failed to carry out a full structural assessment of the platform before allowing workers to dismantle it. They went on to say that had this happened, they would have discovered the risk and been able to put measures in place to ensure that no one was injured. Because they failed to assess risk, the HSE have ruled that they were negligent in their planning.
This is a stark warning for all UK businesses that the HSE is hot on the tails of those companies that are neglecting their responsibilities when it comes to health and safety.
Health and safety law
Regulation 2(1) of The Health and Safety at Work act 1974 is clear in the fact that employers have a duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees.
Health and safety risk assessments form part of a vast range of compliance regulations that UK businesses must adhere to. Safe work environments reduce risk and prevent harm to employees and anyone else on your premises, so it is essential that these regulations are kept up to date, especially following a change in business operations or with workplace expansion.
Regular health and safety risk assessments will help you, as employers, to put measures in place to reduce workplace accidents and to avoid hefty fines. Risk can never be completely eliminated but we can strive to ensure that we are doing everything we can to reduce risk where possible.