Workplace Safety Breach Results in £1.1m Fine

Posted Jun 10, 2020.

workplace safety injury claimInjuries Suffered in the Workplace

A recent case involving the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) where an employee suffered serious injuries at work has highlighted how, as the British economy re-opens after the recent coronavirus lockdown, businesses need to ensure that health and safety standards are maintained.

As businesses of all types put in place adjustments to ensure that their employees are working in a safe environment from a Covid-19 perspective, it is essential that businesses’ do not compromise on their usual health and safety obligations and their overarching duty of care to their staff. The HSE, formed following the creation of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, recently fined a firm £1.1m for such breaches.

Fall from ladder

The massive fine was handed out to London business Modus Workspaces. Following a thorough HSE investigation, the subsequent trial at Luton Crown Court heard how a contract engineer at the firms premises fell from a ladder, resulting in significant and life changing injuries. The fall from height happened whilst the engineer was leak-testing a sprinkler system using an extension ladder. The ladder then slipped, resulting in a 3m fall from an internal roof onto hard ground.

In investigating the incident, the HSE found that no reasonably practicable measures had been taken to prevent such a fall and that Modus Workspace had failed to discharge its duty of care in ensuring that those not in its employment were not exposed to risks, in particular falling from height. In commenting on the case, HSE inspector John Berezansky said:

 “This serious incident and devastation could have been avoided if basic safety measures had been put in place.”

The HSE also emphasised that if failures to implement the correct safety measures are uncovered, then large fines are likely to follow. The HSE’s own statistics on workplace safety show that in 2018-2019, falls from height accounted for over 25% of fatal injuries at work, and that such accidents resulted in over 40,000 non-fatal workplace injuries in the same period.  Overall in the UK, falls from height are one of the main causes of injury, disability or death in the construction industry and the HSE see the prevention of such falls as a priority. Steps are already being taken; the HSE in Northern Ireland (HSENI) recently launched an ‘Internal Falls Are Preventable’ campaign aimed at the construction sector, stating that ‘Work at height will be a standing item on all construction inspections where relevant.’

Workplace Injury Advice from Bakers

At Bakers we pride ourselves on our experience and success in representing claimants who have been injured at work through no fault of their own, helping them to receive compensation that they are properly entitled to. Our professional, friendly team will give you an honest, free and ‘plain English’ appraisal of your claim and we love to delight our clients when they receive the injury compensation they deserve. 

If you would like us to handle your personal injury compensation claim, you can contact us online or by phone on 01252 744600.

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