19 Feb 2015

Worker’s death uncovers serious safety failures

An investigation into the death of a worker installing guttering at a home in Llandudno found he was using an unsafe ladder, a court heard today.

Gethin Kirwan, 35, who lived in Hoole, Chester, was working at a property in Llanrhos Road on 4 April 2013 when he fell from the ladder, sustaining a fatal head injury.

Thomas Price, who runs a roofline products’ business, employed Mr Kirwan to carry out the work and was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) at Wrexham Magistrates’ court today (18 February, 2015).

HSE’s investigation found that the ladder provided by Mr Price was in an extremely poor state. Although HSE accepted the ladder was not responsible for Mr Kirwan’s fall, it did have a number of serious safety defects which had the potential to cause serious incidents. Two other ladders provided for use on the job had similar critical defects.

HSE found the feet of the ladder were worn through, rungs were bent and one was missing. The defects were obvious through even a cursory inspection and made the ladder unfit for use.

Thomas Price, of Marnel Drive, Pentre, Deeside pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations and was fined £4000 and ordered to pay £4000 in costs.

The court also granted a Forfeiture & Destruction Order for the ladders.

HSE Inspector Chris Wilcox, speaking after the hearing, said:

“Although Mr Kirwan’s death was not attributable to the ladder it was in an appalling state and should never have been used.

“All work equipment must be maintained in a safe condition for use and checked regularly for any damage. For ladders, a quick and simple visual check should be done to look for any obvious defects.

“The most common and critical issues are worn or missing feet and damage to the rungs and stiles which are very easy to spot.”

Further information about working safely at height can be found on the HSE website at www.hse.gov.uk/falls

We offer a Safe Equipment Management System (SEMS) designed to encourage ad-hoc equipment inspections - including for Ladders.

There are other inspection checklists on the market but ours offers many advantages. The main being duplicate copies of each inspection - this provides a permanent record of each inspection carried out. In the event of an accident, these copies can be used to prove the equipment was properly maintained and inspected.

Adding a tamper evident seal gives extra confidence that the findings are accurate.

The ladder checklist has been designed to be used on virtually any type of ladders and includes a comprehensive list of essential safety/component checks. The checklists also offer full flexibility in terms of frequency of inspections - whether daily, weekly, monthly or ad-hoc.

The range of checklists that we now offer also allows the same system to be rolled out on other essential equipment types - including forklifts, scaffolding, MEWPs, pallet trucks etc to provide a complete solution to workplace equipment safety. The same tag fits onto all equipment types and allows the easy roll-out of the system across multiple departments.

Key benefits of the Good to Go Safety SEMS include:
• Compliance with legislation and industry best practice.
• Reduce the potential for accidents.
• Documented evidence of equipment maintenance.
• Reduction in maintenance costs by identifying minor faults before they develop into costly major faults.
• Quick and easy to use/implement within the company.
• It informs employees of the equipment status before they use it - displaying up-to-date information.
• Allows instant quarantine of equipment if faults are found.

For more information about Good to Go Safety visit www.goodtogosafety.co.uk

1 comment:

  1. This article brings light into the pathetic work conditions in the state. Since the employers are not bothering to ensure the safety of their employees, the employees themselves will have to do it. I urge everyone to use the proper safety equipments and dresses like gloves, coveralls, fall protection ( https://www.nriparts.com/tools/safety-equipment/miller/216wls5ftyl-5-feet-fall-protection-manyard-shock-absorbing-web-lanyard-safety-equipment/ ) etc and ensure their safety.


Powered by Blogger.