Stop Playing Russian Roulette With Workers' Safety

A raft of six-figure and seven-figure fines have been handed out to businesses of all sizes, in many different sectors, at inquests across the country, as judges delivering health and safety sentences continue to follow their brief, under revised laws, to show no leniency to those who flout the regulations. Read on to discover how to prevent yourself becoming the next defendant.

There is actually no need to read about each individual case, as the same mistakes occur month after month.  Summaries for very many cases could be along the lines of “falling stacks”, “crushed by plant”, “faulty crane”, “overturned dumper truck”, “untrained employee”, “unguarded equipment”, “lack of maintenance”, “overloaded forklift” and “brake failure.”

Even more worrying is the fact that the inquests also have a repetitive narrative that could be applied to numerous incidents, whether this is, “wholly avoidable”, “could have been prevented”, “gaps in risk assessment”, “blindingly obvious errors” or “poor everyday practice.”

The lessons are clear to see.  Turn a blind eye to risk at your premises, construction site, or business and you could be the next defendant in the dock.  Ignore your responsibilities to your workers and visitors and you could not only be asked to pay a fine that will decimate your business, but also have the guilt of a death or serious injury on your conscience.  You could even be handed a prison sentence.

As one inquest was told: “Employers should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standard.”  Those sitting in judgement know what the law requires and will punish those who should also know, but who fail to recognise, or blatantly ignore, the depth of their responsibilities. Time and again, the judge in such cases highlights the what-should-have-been scenario, pointing to robust risk assessments and vehicle maintenance programmes, amongst other things, that could have prevented a death, amputation, brain injury or other serious health impact.

There is nowhere to hide if you are an employer.  The law expects and you need to stop playing Russian roulette with your employees’ welfare.  If your failure to get your house in order is down to a lack of knowledge of what to do, or how to do it, get in touch with us now.  We conduct affordable risk assessments and also have comprehensive and value-for-money e-learning modules that allow you to train employees from their desk and generate records which demonstrate the training your workforce has received.  Can you afford to wait?  If not, call 0113 244 8686, visit www.gauntlethealthandsafety.com for a live chat, or email healthandsafety@gauntletgroup.com

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