Latest News & Events

Latest News & Events

The Dangers Of Workplace Machinery And An Inadequate Risk Assessment

A recent report by the Health and Safety Executive about its successful prosecution of a company has once again highlighted the dangers of workplace machinery and the need for an employer to carry out an adequate risk assessment to protect employees.  A link to the HSE report is here: https://press.hse.gov.uk/2021/12/22/plastics-manufacturer-fined-after-employees-arm-was-pulled-into-rollers-of-slitter-machine/ 

Workplace machinery can cause horrific injuries to those working on them and a significant amount of injuries happen during the cleaning process.  In this particular case an employee was trying to clean glue off a roller on a machine when his hand became caught in the mechanism of the machine.  He sustained serious injuries to his arm.  At the time of the accident the machine had no guards in place and there was access to dangerous parts of the machinery, including the rollers, whilst it was running.

In this case the company did have a risk assessment in place but it was inadequate.  It didn’t identify the dangerous parts of the machine and didn’t specify the control measures needed to prevent access to, or stop the movement of, those dangerous parts.

As in most workplace accidents involving machinery the problem could easily have been prevented had the risk been identified in a proper and effective risk assessment.  This would have minimised the risk from dangerous parts of the machinery and protected employees during the course of their employment. 

Too many companies fail to properly assess the risk to their employees and compromise the health and safety of their employees by doing so.  There are clear health and safety regulations in place governing this issue but too many employers are cavalier in their approach to them.

An employee who sustains a personal injury in a machinery accident may well be able to claim compensation from their employer as a result.  It is essential for the injured employee to take advice from a specialist solicitor in such circumstances.

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