Three companies fined for safety failings arising from two accidents

The Health and Safety Executive have investigated three companies after two incidents occurred at a Furniture Company. Investigations began after an employee cut his thumb to the bone whilst using a biscuit cutter. The blade made contact with his thumb and he was injured and then a few months later, a worker injured his hand using an overhead router which left him with lacerations and crush injuries to his finger.

The HSE found that prior to these incidents, the company had commissioned a Health and Safety company to do an assessment of their current processes and procedures to ensure everything was safe and correct. The Crown Court heard how the H&S consultancy company then sub-contracted the work to another company.

When the HSE had completed their investigations they ruled that they believe the accidents happened as a result of lack of training, inadequate supervision and insufficient and unsuitable risk assessments.

The decision was made to prosecute all the three companies for their failings; the furniture company for failing to ensure staff were properly trained and supervised and the two H&S companies for their failure to do adequate, updated risk assessments and provide comprehensive work procedures.

The Furniture Company was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,000 after pleading guilty to two counts of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The first consultancy was find £22,500 for breaching two counts of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and the sub contracted consultancy was fined £5,000 after pleading guilty to breaching two counts of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

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