Industry news roundup: week ended 15 Apr 2013:
It’s an old adage, but it’s especially apt considering the news stories this week: if you’re lifting and carrying anything, be careful to avoid any injuries.
And it’s not just a sore back that we’re talking about, or injuries caused because you get your toes run over by a hand trolley – in one instance, one poor factory worker actually had to have a portion of his leg amputated after a forklift truck ran him over! The poor 59 year old man, an employee of London-based Nuplex Resins, happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, though the Health and Safety Executive said that if Nuplex had simply put some safeguards in place – like keeping pedestrian traffic segregated from motorised traffic like forklift trucks – this whole horrorshow could have been completely avoided, and would have saved Nuplex Resins around £20,000 in fines and heavens knows how much in personal injury compensation.
Meanwhile, the HSE just finished prosecuting another firm in the wake of a whole raft of personal injury claims made by several staff in the wake of poor lifting practices. The unlucky firm this time – Kent-based Rollmark Engineering – was dragged into Westminster Magistrates’ Court after it became known that the injuries suffered by staff – one 25 year old in particular – were so severe in the wake of a work accident that the employee missed some five months of work.
The poor man had been part of a crew transporting a vessel weighing some 1.3 tonnes at an under-construction hotel in Stratford, but due to there not being any risk assessment on the part of his employer the man fell from an upper ledge during the lifting of the vessel. The man fell, causing catastrophic injuries including but not limited to 17 separate rib fractures and suffering punctures to both of his lungs, all because his employer couldn’t be bothered to use the proper lifting equipment.
Well I hope they’re happy – now they’re out a combined £26,000 between fines and court costs. On top of that I’m sure they’re going to be slammed by a work accident claim, which could cost hundreds of thousands in addition to their HSE fines – and to be honest the firm gets what they deserve for not looking into the proper risk assessments and not using the right types of lifting equipment when they should have!
There’s no excuse for stupidity, and it’s even worse when someone’s lack of foresight ends up causing serious injury to another person. It’s even that much worse when it’s an employee!