HSE warns Employers on the Importance of Equipment Maintenance

Thursday, 4th Sep '08 at 09:52

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is warning employers to ensure adequate risk assessments are in place and the proper maintenance of all equipment following HSE’s prosecution of a multinational company after a worker suffered severe crush injuries.

Schenker, based in Feltham, Middlesex were fined £45,000 and ordered to pay £19,000 in costs, at Basildon Crown Court today (Monday 30th June) after pleading guilty of breaching sections 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and regulation 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations1998.

On 17 March 2006, Mr Mark Treadwell from Benfleet, was standing on the back of a truck in front of a loading dock at the company site at Fenton Way, Southfields Industrial Estate in Basildon. He was trying to ensure the dock levelling equipment was laid flat as the driver manoeuvred the truck into place.

Mr Treadwell’s head was crushed between the truck and a wall when the truck reversed. He suffered severe crush injuries including facial lacerations, a fractured nose, brain stem bleeding, blurred vision, speech and balance problems, and a perforated eardrum.

HSE Inspector, Julie Rayner said:

"This tragic incident makes it clear to employers that they need to take positive action to maintain equipment. Had the company involved properly maintained the loading dock and carried out adequate risk assessments, this terrible incident could have been avoided.  HSE will not hesitate to take action against those who fall short of the law in such a way."

  1. Section 2(1) of the Health and safety at work etc Act 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. Section 3(1) of the Health and safety at work etc Act states: “ It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.”
  3. PUWER Reg 5 (1) states “Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair
  4. For more information on managing risks in the workplace www.hse.gov.uk/risk
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