HSE prosecutes printer following multiple breaches of safety laws
Date: Thursday, September 04, 2008 @ 10:54:49 BST
Topic: Health and Safety Executive (HSE) News

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has reminded employers of their legal duty to properly manage workplace risks. The warning follows HSE’s prosecution of a printing company in Suffolk following several breaches of health and safety laws.

Clays Ltd of Bungay was fined £32,000 and ordered to pay costs of £12,000 at Lowestoft Magistrates' Court yesterday (Monday 30th June).

The company pleaded guilty to three breaches of Section 2(1) and one breach of section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. In addition, guilty pleas were entered in respect of breaches of Regulations 3 and 5 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

On 13 July 2005, a Clays employee was carrying out maintenance on the roof of its Popson Street site, when he slipped and fell through a skylight. The employee fell seven meters onto a metal cage and sustained multiple injuries causing him to be off work for several months.

The HSE investigation into this incident found that there were limited safeguards to prevent injury from falling from height. Furthermore, poor health and safety standards were found in other areas, including the use of actuator keys to disarm guarding on machinery. The keys allow the user to override the safety devices and use the machines unguarded. Employees were also found to be working on the racking at the site warehouse without adequate safeguards to prevent falls from height.

HSE Inspector, Jon Elven said:

"Clays has received fines consistent with the failure to manage health and safety issues at their site in Bungay. The company has exposed both employees and sub contractors to potentially dangerous situations and HSE will not hesitate to take action against those who fall short of the law in such a serious way."

  1. Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”
  2. Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 states: “Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of (a) the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work; and (b) the risks to the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him of his undertaking, for the purpose of identifying the measures he needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed upon him by or under the relevant statutory provisions and by Part II of the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997.”
  3. Regulation 5(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 states: “Every employer shall make and give effect to such arrangements as are appropriate, having regard to the nature of his activities and the size of his undertaking, for the effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of the preventive and protective measures.”

This article comes from Sheffield Occupational Health and Safety Association (SOHSA)

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