Poor Safety At Work Leaves Employee Scarred & Employer Fined

A Dunblane, Scotland farming company recently felt the wrath of local court officials, this after being fined in a case where one of its workers was saddled with permanent scarring.
 
According to information from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the worker suffered major injuries to both her leg and ankle when they became trapped in an unguarded conveyor system.
 
Perth Sheriff Court officials were informed that Wanda Lustig, 34, was working for Blackford Farms Ltd as a general farm worker when the incident happened in October of 2011.
 
Lustig, a Polish national, was working with a colleague in a grain-drying building at Townhead Farm, Greenloaning near Braco, Perthshire, which was demolished as a result of the incident.
 
The building was put together via a series of 15 grain silos, laid out in a pair of rows, with a narrow corridor at ground level separating the two rows and a high walkway on the fourth floor of the building, across the top of the silos. The corridor housed a chain and flight conveyor into which grain could be emptied from the silos and transported around the building.
 
As part of the work load that day, one of Lustig's colleague had to climb into a silo from the high level walkway so that he could clean it out. The chain and flight conveyor was begun prior to him entering the silo. The plan was that Lustig would stay at a walkway near the top of the silo to be "on hand" and telephone for assistance if her colleague required aid.
 
While there, she also sampled grain to test its moisture after being dried. However, she heard the chain making a strange sound and decided to make her way back to the ground floor to investigate. Given the notion that the sound was coming from the far end of the corridor, Lustig made her way along it. The narrow width of the corridor meant that she walk on top of the metal plates covering the chains of the conveyor as she walked along.
 
Victim’s Left Foot Gets Caught in Moving Chainwork
 
The court was told that Lustig witnessed grain piling up at the end of the corridor near to a small door. She tried to open the door but it was blocked. As she made her way back along the corridor, she slipped and caught her left foot in the moving chainwork and was dragged by it.
 
Her colleague in the grain bin did not hear her screams for assistance. She managed to free herself, got out of the building and telephoned for help.
 
Lustig was left with a serious degloving injury to her left leg and ankle. The ankle ligament complex was destroyed and the joint exposed, requiring extensive surgery, with more likely to be needed, leaving her with permanent scarring to her lower leg. She still suffers considerable pain, can only walk with the aid of a stick and fears she will never be able to work again.
 
An investigation by HSE discovered that the chain and flight conveyor was recessed within a metal trough, offset to one side of the corridor and the floor space alongside was only eight inches wide. In order to walk along the corridor, workers had little choice but to walk with one foot on top of the conveyor cover and one to the side of it.
 
The conveyor had metal plates designed to be bolted in position above it, to protect persons from being caught in its moving parts, but several were found to be loose or missing, exposing the moving parts beneath. There were also openings in the top cover of the conveyor to enable grain to pass through from the silos, but the size of the openings was such that a person's foot could be inserted into the gap.
 
 
Poor Lighting, Uneven Floor Surface Contribute to Mishap
 
The investigation also led to the discovery of movement within the corridor was endangered by poor lighting and an uneven floor surface as a result of an accumulation of grain which had spilled from the silos or conveyor.
 
A Prohibition Notice was issued after the incident to prevent any further work taking place in the grain drying building.
 
Blackford Farms Ltd, Burnside of Balhaldie, Dunblane, was fined nearly $53,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 2(2)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
 
©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

OSHA: Bosses Must Protect Workers From Carbon Monoxide

OSHA Warns Dangers Heighten During Winter
 
As much of the nation battles cold weather, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reminding employers this winter to take needed precautions to protect workers from the serious, and sometimes fatal, effects of carbon monoxide exposure.
 
An example of how dangerous the threat can be to workers, news came recently that a worker in a New England warehouse was found unconscious and seizing, suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.
 
As officials would discover, several other workers at the site also became sick. An examination showed that all of the windows and doors were closed to conserve heat, there was no exhaust ventilation in the facility, and very high levels of carbon monoxide were measured at the site.
 
 
Employers Can Decrease Risk With Proper Ventilation
 
Every year, workers die from carbon monoxide poisoning, usually while using fuel-burning equipment and tools in buildings or semi-enclosed spaces without adequate ventilation. This can be especially true during the winter months when employees use this type of equipment in indoor spaces that have been sealed tightly to block out cold temperatures and wind.
 
Symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure can include everything from headaches, dizziness and drowsiness to nausea, vomiting or tightness across the chest. Severe carbon monoxide poisoning can cause neurological damage, coma and death.
 
For those not aware, sources of carbon monoxide can include anything that uses combustion to operate, such as gas generators, power tools, compressors, pumps, welding equipment, space heaters and furnaces.
 
Employers can decrease the risk to workers of carbon monoxide poisoning in the workplace by installing an effective ventilation system, avoid the use of fuel-burning equipment in enclosed or partially-enclosed spaces, use carbon monoxide detectors in areas where the hazard is a concern and take other precautions outlined in OSHA's Carbon Monoxide Fact Sheet.
 
Given the chance that even one worker can be injured or die from carbon monoxide poisoning, it behooves employers to take such a threat seriously.
 
 
 
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
 
©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.


Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Fine For Employee Deaths Amounts To Slap On The Wrist

 

As the Alberta (Canada) Federation of Labor (AFL) sees it, the recent fine given to oil company Sinopec amounts to nothing more than a slap on the wrist.
 
According to the AFL, the $1.5 million fine will have little or no impact on halting the company from continuing to have in place reported practices that endanger their employees.
 
During a recent court hearing, the Canadian subsidiary of Chinese oil corporation Sinopec was fined $1.5 million for an incident that led to the deaths of a pair of their employees their lives.
 
As AFL President Gil McGowan put it, “One and a half million dollars doesn’t even amount to a rounding error in the annual budget of a monstrous global corporation like Sinopec. This fine does nothing to dissuade them from playing fast and loose with the safety of their workforce.”
 
 
Imported Third World Health and Safety Standards
 
The story unfolded when Sinopec and a pair of other companies were charged after a 2007 container collapse resulted in the deaths of two temporary foreign workers at an oil sands project near Fort McKay, Alberta. In all, 53 charges were handed down against the companies, of which Sinopec pled guilty to three charges of failing to oversee the health and safety of its employees.
 
McGowan noted that “Sinopec didn’t just import workers from the third world, they also imported third-world health and safety standards. Alberta missed its chance to send a message that Chinese companies working in the oil sands need to play by Canadian rules.”
 
While McGowan added that it might be the largest safety fine in Alberta history, it further demonstrates that Alberta has a long history in failing to aggressively enforce its own workplace safety rules.
 
The two victims, Ge Genbao, 28, and Lui Hongliang, 33, were just two of the more than 130 Cantonese-speaking workers who were transported from China for the Sinopec oil sands project.
 
 
Complete Abdication of Safety Responsibility
 
“We shouldn’t forget the circumstances that led to the deaths of Genbao and Hongliang,” McGowan went on to say. “The company did not get the construction plans certified by an engineer. The wires weren’t strong enough to hold up against the wind. It was a complete abdication of responsibility on the part of the employer.”
 
China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group) is a super-large petroleum and petrochemical enterprise group established in July 1998 on the basis of the former China Petrochemical Corp.
 
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
 
©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Death of Washington Scuba Diver Leads to Safety Citations

 

The death of diver in Washington State last summer while on the job has led to repercussions for one department.
 
State officials with The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) recently cited the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for 15 worker-safety violations as part of their investigation into a drowning fatality involving a DNR diver last summer. The citation represents a potential penalty of $172,900.
 
 
Deceased Diver Part of 4 Person Dive Team
 
The deceased diver, David Scheinost, 24, was part of a four-person dive team from the DNR Aquatic Resources Division that was collecting geoduck samples to test for paralytic shellfish poisoning from the Manzanita and Restoration Point geoduck harvest tracts off Bainbridge Island on July 24.
 
As the day unfolded, a pair of SCUBA (self-contained underwater breathing apparatus) divers had deployed on their third dive of the day when Scheinost came to the surface in distress, calling out that he couldn’t breathe. The others were unable to reach him before he went beneath the surface and was gone. His body was found three days later.
 
 
L&I Investigation Points Out Problems
 
The L&I investigation involving the dive-safety policies and practices at DNR discovered:
 
             370 occurrences over a six-month period in which divers were deployed without carrying a reserve breathing-gas supply.
             DNR did not ensure a designated person was in charge at the dive location to supervise all aspects of the diving operation affecting the health and safety of the divers.
 
L&I Says ‘Willful’ Violations Took Place
 
As L&I concluded, these were “willful” violations, which means they were committed with intentional disregard or plain indifference to worker safety and health regulations.
 
“Commercial diving involves risks that unfortunately lead too often to tragedies like this incident,” stated Anne Soiza, assistant director of L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health. “These significant risk factors require advance planning, properly maintained equipment and strict adherence to procedures to ensure the protection of workers’ lives on each and every dive.”
 
Along with the pair of willful violations, L&I cited DNR for eight “serious” and five “general” violations for not complying with standard safe-diving practices and procedures, including failure to:
 
             Have effective accident prevention and training programs.
             Ensure that divers maintained continual visual contact with each other.
             Inspect and maintain equipment.
             Have a stand-by diver available while divers are in the water.
 
L&I is responsible for workplace safety and health and investigating workplace deaths for all private, state and local government worksites.
 
 
Provided With 15 Working Days to Appeal Citation.
 
As with any citation, penalty money paid is put in the workers compensation supplemental pension fund, assisting workers and loved ones of those who have died while working.
 
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
 
©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Mining Inspectors Zero In On Workplace Safety

 

Mining inspectors in Ontario are focusing in on diesel emissions and other hazards that could affect air quality during a blitz in underground mines.
 
As part of the province’s Safe at Work Ontario strategy, which was unveiled four and a half years ago, Ministry of Labor inspectors are making sure that employers are complying with recent changes to emission requirements for diesel-powered equipment under the Regulations for Mines and Mining Plants.
 
Officials believe the changes improve protection for workers from the potentially harmful effects of diesel emissions by:
 
     Setting a lower allowed limit of carbon exposure for workers and
     Requiring equipment be tested under consistent conditions
 
The changes went into effect on Jan. 1, 2012.
 
 
Illness and Death Result from Poor Air Quality
 
Poor air quality in underground mines can lead to occupational illness and death of workers. In particular, workers are at risk in the event they are exposed to carbon monoxide in diesel exhaust.
 
Underground mines can have poor air quality when:
 
     There are too many "particulate particles" (a mixture of various chemical solids and gasses including carbon and nitrous oxide) and other airborne substances such as dust in the air and/or when
     Fumes emitted by diesel-powered equipment are over the prescribed limits
 
To protect workers, the new amendments require employers to:
 
     Perform routine testing to determine the carbon monoxide content of exhaust from diesel-powered equipment under consistent conditions
     Develop and implement testing measures and procedures for diesel-powered equipment, in consultation with the mine's Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) or health and safety representative
     Provide test results, as required, to the JHSC or health and safety representative
     Investigate overexposure by workers to diesel emissions and take remedial action, if possible, to prevent future incidents
 
The mining regulations are part of Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).
 
 
Inspectors Focus in on Diesel Equipment
 
Inspectors will target underground mines that use diesel equipment, including:
 
     Mines with large fleets of diesel equipment operating in the underground environment
     Recently reopened or new mines operating diesel equipment
     Mines where previous ventilation concerns were observed, and
     Mines with a poor health and safety compliance history
 
Inspectors will check on two types of equipment:
 
     Diesel equipment used for underground transportation of workers and materials and blasting of rock and
     Ventilation systems used to deliver fresh air to underground mines
 
Lastly, mining inspectors will zero in on the top priorities:
 
Committee Consultation: Inspectors will check that employers have developed and implemented testing measures and procedures for each piece of diesel equipment, in consultation with the JHSC or health and safety representative.
 
Diesel Equipment: Inspectors will check that equipment used for underground transportation of workers and materials is being regularly tested, as required.
 
Workplace Air Sampling: Inspectors will check that employers are regularly testing the air in underground mines to ensure exposure to toxic airborne substances do not exceed the prescribed limits.
 
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
 
©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Safety Efforts Pay Off For Record Safest Year in 2012

 

It appears that the efforts to make Victoria (Australia) workplaces safer has paid off.
 
According to information from WorkCover, 2012 witnessed 18 people pass away while on the job in Victorian workplaces, that being seven less than the 25 who were killed in 2011. That figure for 2012 also equals the prior record low of 18 workplace fatalities in 2005.
 
 
7.77 People Injured for Every Million Hours Worked
 
The number of Victorians who were injured at work also dipped to a new low. Last year, 7.77 people were injured for every million hours worked, that in comparison to 7.9 people per million hours worked in 2011.
 
WorkCover Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips remarked that the improvement was a major achievement, maintaining the state’s track record of leading Australia in terms of workplace safety.
 
“In 2012 national data confirmed Victoria’s position as having the safest workplaces of any state or territory in Australia, and that’s a credit to employers, workers and the efforts of the WorkSafe team,” Rich-Phillips remarked. “Many things need to come together to achieve these sorts of outcomes – active engagement and support from employers and workers, practical assistance combined with inspection and enforcement activity by the VWA and a commitment to improved workplace safety.”
 
 
Victorian Workplace Deaths Nearly Halve in Last Decade
 
According to Rich-Phillips, fatalities in Victorian workplaces had almost halved over the past decade.
 
“However, it is clear that more can be done, as many of the fatalities and injuries resulted from known hazards, with known safety solutions,” Rich-Phillips said. “Eighteen families had a sad and distressing 2012 because a family member failed to return home safely. The impact of a workplace death is also enormous on colleagues and employers, which is why we ask everyone returning to work to make safety their number one priority this year.”
 
Of the 18 deaths in 2012, 12 were in Melbourne and six were in regional Victoria. Sixteen of the fatalities were turned out to be males, one was an elderly woman and one was a four-year-old. Half of the deaths involved men aged 50 and over.
 
“Employers can improve safety and reduce injuries by making sure people are trained and supervised, that they have the right equipment to safely carry out a job and that machines are properly guarded,” Rich-Phillips said. “Workers can also improve safety in the workplace by taking responsibility for their actions. A shortcut might seem like a good idea but it’s often a shortcut to a serious injury.”
 
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
 
©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

23 Percent of Survey Respondents Always, Often, or Occasionally Bullied At Work

 

Looking for zero tolerance on the job when it comes to bullying, a recent work-stress survey, conducted by UNISON City of Glasgow (Scotland) branch using the HSE Stress Management Standards, discovered some 23 percent of respondents were always, often or on occasion bullied.

 

The survey came to light once concerns were raised by UNISON members regarding the affect spending reductions were having on workloads and workplace stress.

 

Work-Stress Major Concern Requiring Urgent Action

 

According to the branch’s health and safety officer, Scott Donohoe, “We had a 96 percent response rate, which was excellent. Unfortunately, a lot of the members’ responses were in the red, meaning that work-stress was a major concern and that urgent action was required.

 

“After presenting our findings to the employer, we agreed that a couple of focus groups, consisting of employees, members and safety reps, would be setup to discuss the results of the survey and identify stressors.”

 

Donohoe added that “The work-stress campaign has been successful in recruiting new members and activists. Our next step is to review the risk assessment to ensure that the ‘prevent and control’ measures have been implemented and are still relevant, and widen the work-stress campaign to include other employees.”

 

Guide Recommended for All Employers Dealing with Stress

 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guide “Managing the Causes of Work Related Stress: a Step by Step Approach Using the Management Standards” is recommended for use by all employers when looking at how to deal with the problem of stress. The guide places risk assessment at the heart of any plan to lower the risk of work-related stress.

 

However, the HSE makes clear that prior to a risk assessment being undertaken, the employer is best served if they:

 

  • Talk to their staff about work-related stress and explain what they want to identify;
  • Set up a group to help (which includes trade union safety/employee representatives, the unit health and safety officer, one or more supervisors or line managers, an HR representative and, where possible, someone from the occupational health service);
  • Explain that the first step is to undertake a risk assessment;
  • Ask the group to assist in the assessment; and
  • Agree a date when the key findings of the risk assessment will be available.

 

In assessing the risks in your workplace, its is recommended that your employer review the five steps to risk assessment:

 

1     Identify the hazards;

2     Decide who might be harmed and how;

3     Evaluate the risks and decide on precaution;

4     Record your findings and implement them; and

5     Review your assessment and update if necessary.

 

 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

 


Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Failure to Provide Proper Training Sends Employee Career Down Waste Chute

 

Life-Changing Injuries From Falling Down Waste Chute

 

A pair of London companies have been ordered to pay close to $175,000 in fines and costs after a lorry driver sustained life-changing injuries when he fell down a processing chute at a waste recycling plant, according to information from the Health and Safety Executive(HSE).

 

The Old Bailey was told the agency worker, then 49, was employed by ICSL Accord Ltd as a skip lorry driver. He was tipping rubbish into a deep waste chute at Hornsey Street Waste and Recycling Centre in Islington when he fell 32 feet from the rear of the vehicle down the chute.

 

The incident was investigated by HSE, which prosecuted both ICSL Accord and the centre’s operators, London Waste Ltd, for serious safety failings.

 

The court heard that the worker, from Islington, who does not want to be named, sustained life threatening injuries. He was treated at the Whittington Hospital for fractures to two vertebrae and was in a spine brace for nine months, unable to work.

 

 

Will Never Be Able to Return to Career

 

An independent medical report suggested the man would never be able to return to his career as a HGV driver. He now walks with a limp and is limited in the range of activities he can undertake.

 

HSE told the court that in 2006 London Waste sites, including Hornsey Street, were inspected and audited. HSE inspectors recommended the company reassessed its tipping arrangements and avoided work at height by directing drivers to tip their loads into flat bays.

 

The incident could have reportedly been prevented had that procedure been in place, and the company has since made improvements to ensure it is.

 

 

Failed to Provide Sufficient Training

 

According to HSE, ICSL failed to give some employees sufficient training in how to safely tip rubbish at the site; London Waste failed to monitor non-compliance of site safety rules, and both companies failed to cooperate and coordinate site activities.

 

London Waste Ltd, of Advent Way, Edmonton, was fined $62,000 and ordered to pay $53,335 in costs after being found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

 

Meantime, ICSL Accord Ltd, of Albany Way, Welwyn Garden City, was fined $37,350 with $17,500 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the same legislation.

 

 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 


Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Simple Safety Measures Could Have Avoided Fine, Saved Finger

 

 
Worker Attempting Repair Fish Skinning Machine
 
A company boss from north west London recently appeared in court after a worker had to have a finger amputated when his hand was caught in machinery and severely crushed, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
 
Ernest Henderson, 43, of Enfield, was working as a maintenance manager for Ian Goldstein, who runs a smoked salmon business at premises in Lowther Road, Stanmore, Harrow.
 
Westminster Magistrates' Court heard recently that Henderson was attempting to repair a fish skinning machine that was making a loud screeching noise when in use, when the incident occurred on 17 December 2010.
 
 
Removed Safety Guards & Switched on Machine
 
He removed the safety guards around the machine and then switched it on, but a rag he was holding for cleaning got caught and his right hand was dragged into the moving parts.His hand was severely crushed and his index finger was so badly damaged it had to be amputated at hospital. The injury means he still finds it difficult to do everyday tasks, although he has now returned to work.
 
An investigation by HSE found that Henderson had not been trained in how to repair machinery at the site, despite being the maintenance manager. His competence to repair machinery had never been adequately assessed and he was left unsupervised when completing maintenance work.
 
He had also not been given a safe system of work to follow to ensure he carried out the task safely, by not running the machine once the safety guards were removed. It was also found that the emergency stop buttons on the fish skinning machine were not operational.
 
 
Employer Pleaded Guilty & Fined $2,500
 
Ian Goldstein, 61, of Lowther Road, Stanmore, Harrow, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was given a two-year conditional discharge and was ordered to pay $2,500 in fines.
 
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.comContact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
 
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Inadequate Safety Measures Results in Employer Fine, Worker Injury

 

Fines Total $34,700
 
A Welsh employee suffered leg injuries when a reversing forklift truck struck him while working at a cardboard factory, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
 
Michael Jones, of Abercarn, was inspecting production in an area of the factory at the Prince of Wales Industrial Estate, Abercarn, Caerphilly when the incident happened in April of 2011.
 
Jones' employer, Smurfit Kappa, was recently fined a total of $12,500 and ordered to pay $22,200 in fines by Caerphilly Magistrates in a prosecution brought by the HSE in November of this year.
 
 
Inadequate Measures in Place for Safety
 
The court was told that the forklift truck was reversing around a storage area to drop off an empty pallet when it struck Jones, who was carrying out routine work on stock in the area. Although the forklift was travelling at a slow speed, Jones suffered a broken ankle and fractured heel and subsequently developed deep vein thrombosis.
 
An investigation by the HSE revealed that the forklift was fitted with reversing alarms, but these were not audible over the noise in the production area. No other safety measures were used, such as mirrors or flashing lights on the vehicles.
 
Although the company had a transport policy, they had not adequately assessed the risk to all pedestrians and there were inadequate measures in place to separate pedestrians from forklift vehicles in the production area.
 
Despite the transport policy highlighting the need for other safety devices such as mirrors, these were not fitted to the vehicles.
 
 
Employer Pleaded Guilty
 
According to HSE Inspector, Dean Baker, "Employers must ensure that they assess the movement of vehicles and where possible segregate pedestrians to eliminate the risk. If this is not possible, measures such as audible reversing alarms, mirrors, flashing lights and clearly marked pedestrian zones should be considered to prevent future injuries and fatalities."
 
Smurfit Kappa Corrugated UK Ltd of Darlington Road, West Auckland, County Durham pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
 
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.comContact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
 
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

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