HSE prosecutes printer following multiple breaches of safety laws

Sheffield Occupational Health and Safety Association (SOHSA) on 2008-09-04 09:54:49

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."

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