Fatal case shows the importance of workplace health and safety

We recently read about a very sad case which once more brought home how vitally important health and safety is in the workplace.

A couple of weeks ago Liverpool Magistrates Court fined a Merseyside shipbuilding and repair company after an employee was fatally injured when struck by a 31-foot steel post.

The court heard how on 30 March 2017, the 23-year-old employee and four other workers of Carmet Marine Limited had been adapting or ‘regulating’ the bogie, which is used to land and launch vessels on and off the company’s slipway by the River Mersey. One of the bogie’s steel side-posts weighing approximately 1,800kg fell and fatally struck the employee on the back of the head.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the steel side-post had only been secured to the crossbeam on the bogie by two slackened bolts and was not supported by a crane or other means at the time of the incident. Carmet Marine Limited failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and implement a safe system of work. In addition, the company did not provide the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure the health and safety at work of its employees during the task of regulating the slipway.

Carmet Marine Limited of Riverbank Road, Bromborough, Wirral, pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £25,000 and ordered to pay costs of £15,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Lorna Sherlock said: “This incident was entirely preventable if the risk had been identified and suitable control measures put in place. Adequate training and supervision should also have been in place to ensure the regulating of the slipway was carried out safely by employees.”

This is a terribly sad case and our hearts go out to everyone involved. It’s heart-breaking to hear the HSE inspector’s assessment that the incident was preventable if the risk had been identified and suitable control measures had been put in place.

At Acorn Safety Services we work with businesses of all shapes and sizes across a wide variety of industries. We know that for many company bosses and it can be a struggle to meet the needs of health and safety and the day-to-day needs of their business.

We work hard to help business owners become health and safety compliant in the shortest time possible – supporting bosses, their business and their employees on an ongoing basis.

We’re proud to say that in the past 16 years we’ve shown hundreds of businesses how to easily become health and safety compliant without them having to do all the hard work or making mistakes.

One of the ways we do this is through our Retained Health and Safety Consultant Service. This service has been designed to take the worry of health and safety away from bosses and managers – effectively we do all the hard work for them to make sure they are complying with health and safety law and keeping their employees and visitors safe.

We are so confident that this service delivers the results our clients need that we offer all our retained health and safety consultant support packages with a money-back guarantee. If our clients complete everything we’ve advised them to do within a 12-month period and they don’t achieve full health and safety compliance, we’ll give them their money back – no questions asked.

The reason we do this is simple – first and foremost our concern is that workplaces are as safe as they possibly can be so fewer people lose their lives or are injured at work. We are so committed to this that we are quite literally prepared to put our money where our mouth is.

We begin by carrying out an initial health and safety audit and review to help organisations identify and fix any gaps in their compliance with health and safety law.

Our consultants provide bespoke health and safety documents and take the time to help our clients understand them. We keep abreast of all the regulatory and legislative changes so our clients don’t have to and help them understand what they need to do. We also provide our clients with a secure and easy to access location for all their health and safety documents.

Not only does this service protect our clients it can also help them win new contracts. In addition to it being a legal requirement to have a competent person, almost all prequalification questionnaires and tenders make it a mandatory requirement. With the Acorn retained health and safety consultant service, our clients can tick that box when they are bidding for work.

So, if you have concerns that you might not be complying with all aspects of health and safety law or want to do more to make yourself attractive to future clients contact us today so we can help you.

For all your health and safety needs visit https://acornhealthandsafety.co.uk/ or contact us at info@acornhealthandsafety.co.uk or on 01604 930380

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