Turning a Blind Eye

Not addressing a known health and safety issue is just as bad, if not worse, than having a lack of awareness of the issue, as car manufacturer, Renault, recently discovered when it picked up a £200,000 fine for what could be deemed ‘turning a blind eye’.

Unsafe situations are highlighted on risk assessments and during audits for a reason – so they can be tackled and controlled.  Renault seemed to forget this when, having been told that its technicians were in danger due to badly maintained vehicle lifting equipment at two sites, it made no attempt to address the defects over the course of nearly a year.

This breached the PUWER regulations – the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations – as well as the LOLER regulations (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations).  Even though, thankfully, there was no serious injury or death as a result of the insufficient maintenance, the car giant was not just fined the six-figure sum, but also forced to pay £17,000 in costs. 

But what about the costs to its reputation?  What signal does this send to prospective employees?  These are factors often overlooked in the transport sector, but they matter and can be the downfall of a business that gets things badly wrong.  If you’ve been told you need to act on something, either by an internal observer or an external inspector, do not turn a blind eye to it.  Act swiftly and, if you need help, get in touch and gain clarification on what you need to do. Call 0113 244 8686 or email healthandsafety@gauntletgroup.com for assistance.

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