Fatal case shows why risk assessments are vital

We recently heard about a very sad case which shows why it is so important to carry out risk assessments.

The case revolved around a Merseyside shipbuilding and repair company which was fined after an employee was fatally injured when struck by a 31-foot steel post.

A few weeks ago, Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard that 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.”

Do I need a risk assessment?

At Acorn Safety Services, we understand that it can be difficult for company owners and managers to keep on top of all the health and safety requirements relating to their work. Health and safety legislation encompasses all areas of the workplace so the thought of making sure you have everything covered can be quite daunting.

As we’ve seen from this sad case though if companies – for whatever reason – don’t carry out risk assessments and follow them up with suitable control measures the consequences can be tragic for individuals and firms can end up facing huge fines.

If you’re unsure if your firm is handing health and safety correctly and whether it needs to carry out risk assessments, we can help you.

We offer a free health and safety review surgery with our leading health and safety expert John Crockett. During this 30-minute video call you are given the chance to discuss and diagnose any current health and safety compliance issues with John.

He will take you through our 20-point Health and Safety Compliance Audit and after the call you will receive a complimentary compliance report to help you identify your health and safety strengths and weaknesses.

Many other health and safety consultancies charge for this type of service, but we offer it for free because we want to firms to get to grips with their health and safety needs and we want them to carry out the appropriate risk assessments so that we can keep more people safe in the workplace.

How can I get risk assessments?

The easiest way to make sure risk assessments are successfully completed is to work with a health and safety consultancy like ours.

Our professional team has more than 50 years of experience working in health and safety and will work closely with your business to identify risks in the workplace. We will also provide advice on how they can be controlled and ensure that you successfully meet the required standards.

Our consultants have experience in working in a wide variety of industries and sectors, from construction to aerospace so they are able to carry out risk assessments and identify solutions which are tailored specifically to the needs of different organisations.

You’ll have peace of mind knowing that we are always here for you when it comes to meeting your legal obligations as an employer with regard to health and safety matters.

Why are risk assessments so important?

To effectively manage your health and safety requirements you must control the health and safety risks in your workplace.

To achieve this, it is vital to conduct thorough risk assessments of the workplace environment, identify the potential loopholes, leverage smart risk-mitigating measures and ensure they are well in control.

Risk assessments are an essential part of Health and Safety Management Systems to ensure that hazards, such as those identified through consultation with employees or inspections by occupational health professionals, are reduced or eliminated before they cause injury or death among workers.

Our Health and Safety Consultants in the UK will help you think about what, in your organisations, might cause harm to people including employees and help you decide whether you are taking reasonable steps to prevent that harm.

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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