7 Apr 2010

Guard-rail failure leads to near fatal fall for worker

Good to Go Safety have been providing equipment tagging and inspection systems across a range of industries. Our most popular pre-use checklists are available for equipment including ladders, forklifts, scaffolding, harnesses etc however the flexibility of our system allows employees to design their own inspection regimes for more specialist or obscure workplace equipment. The following prosecution relates to an incident involving a guardrail on a crushing machine.

Regulation 5 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 states: "Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair... [and that]... every employer shall ensure that where any machinery has a maintenance log, the log is kept up to date." PUWER does not just apply to the more obvious types of equipment such as those listed above, and we are pleased to offer a simple but effective solution from Good to Go Safety.

We know that our equipment tagging and inspection system works well but we were keen to provide a solution for one-off/specialist pieces of equipment without demanding increased costs and minimum order quantities. Our solution is to provide you with the chance to design your own bespoke checklist to meet your specific needs. The system works exactly the same as our standard system - the only difference being that you have a blank checklist which allows you to create your own inspection criteria and timeframes. By implementing such a system, incidents such as that highlighted below could have been avoided. Click here for more information on our Design Your Own Checklists.


Guard-rail failure leads to near fatal fall for worker
A Black Country waste management firm has been fined £12,000 after a guard-rail gave way resulting in a worker falling nearly three metres, narrowly missing a crushing machine.

AB Waste Management Ltd which is based at High Street, Amblecote, Stourbridge was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for the safety failing. The company pleaded guilty of breaching Regulation 5 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. AB Waste Management was also ordered to pay £1,836 in costs.

Walsall & Aldridge Magistrates Court heard how on 16 June 2009, the worker was on just his second day working at Junction Works, Cemetery Road, Darlaston when he was cleaning a crushing machine. During the job a guard rail gave way, and he fell almost three metres to the ground.

The victim's spine was broken in two places, and he also suffered several deep cuts to his head that required skin grafts. Doctors told him he was lucky to be alive. Although he was discharged he has had to return to hospital on a regular basis for check ups.

Following the case HSE inspector Gardabil Singh Tiwana said:

"The worker was seriously let down by his employers who failed to maintain the safety measures that were supposed to protect him. The employee could easily have been killed if he'd fallen into the crushing machine when it was in operation.

"It's all very well installing a guard-rail and other precautions, but if they're not maintained and repaired properly then they are useless.

"All companies need to ensure guards supplied for their work activities are fit for purpose and if the machine has a maintenance log, that the log should be kept up to date."


HSE Transcript Source: WM675/09
(Reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence)

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