Category: Employers' liability insurance
Even the largest companies can fall foul of the law by failing to adhere to basic safety procedures, as a recent case brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has shown.
Two workers at steel manufacturer Corus, which has since been renamed Tata Steel UK, suffered serious injuries in April 2009 when a warehouse door they were trying to fix fell on them.
Both had badly broken legs and one was struck on the head, leaving him unable to return to work at the Workington site for 15 months.
While most firms are obliged to have employers' liability insurance to over compensation costs should an accident like this happen in the workplace, they are also legally required to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the first place.
After a review of the accident, the HSE ruled that the company had failed to make sure a suitable risk assessment had been done in advance of the work beginning.
Tata Steel UK Ltd admitted breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, by failing to ensure the safety of the two workers and was fined £13,300 and ordered to pay £11,631 in prosecution costs on December 22nd.
"These two workers have suffered major injuries, with long term effects to their lives, because their employer didn't do enough to make sure they stayed safe," commented the investigating inspector at HSE, Mike Griffiths.
"The work could have been carried out safely by removing the guide for the slats on the roller shutter door so that it could be wound up. However, it wasn't planned properly in advance due to the company's procedures."
Nearly 4,000 workers in the manufacturing industry suffered serious injuries in 2010/11, data from the HSE reveals.
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