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HSE Prosecution Highlights the Need for Good Health & Safety Management

A recent prosecution by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) of an accident at work that killed one man and seriously injured another, once again highlights the need for rigid Health & Safety checks and procedures that are relevant and specific to the activities being undertaken in order to protect our workers.

In this particular incident, a team of engineers were loading wind turbine blades onto a sea barge for delivery to the Great Gabbard wind farm off the Suffolk Coast when a two tonne part of the blade transport arrangement fell off crushing the two workers. One of the workers injuries were fatal, whilst the others were described as serious and life changing.

The HSE carried out an investigation into the incident and found serious safety failings in the management systems of the two firms (Fluor Ltd and Siemens Windpower) who were responsible for the Health & Safety of the employees. In particular it found that during the loading operation, vital parts of equipment were allowed to go unchecked before being lifted, which resulted in the tragic accident. At the Chelmsford Crown Court hearing Fluor Ltd was found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was ordered to pay £275,000 in fines and £271,048 in costs. Siemens also pleaded guilty to a Section 2(1) breach of the act were ordered to pay £375,000 in costs and £271,048 costs.

The HSE pointed out that the incident could easily have been avoided had suitable systems and procedures been in place to ensure that all loads were properly connected whilst being lifted. It also said that the case highlights the importance of considering all the risks involved in every aspect of a businesses’ day to day activities.

Whether a global multi-national business building and offshore wind farm, or a local business park outfit manufacturing micro-scale machine components, it is essential that your business has comprehensive Health & Safety Management Systems in place. Speak to Park City today to find out how we can help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries in your business.

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