The Workers Union has called for British business to reduce injury risks to employees by investing in health and safety after an employee was injured after having his finger severed by a hand saw in the workplace.
In a statement released today, a spokesperson for the organisation said: ‘With all the focus on COVID and Omicron, people might be fooled into thinking that injuries at work are a thing of the past. The sad fact is that avoidable personal injury cases still happen in the workplace. Company chiefs still cut corners and staff still suffer the consequences – that’s the reality.’
The statement came after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed the results of a number of recent high profile cases. One involved the successful prosecution of a Cornish sawmill, which was fined after a member of staff severed the index finger on his left hand.
Plymouth Magistrates’ court was told that the employee was trying to check the rear of the saw when his glove became snagged in the moving parts of the machinery. A subsequent HSE investigation uncovered that access to the dangerous parts of the cross-cut saw were not restricted by the use of a guard. The HSE also found that the company had failed to provide their employees with adequate training.
The company pleaded guilty to 2 breaches – one to Regulation 11 (1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) and one to Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 – and was fined £40k and ordered to pay costs of £15,594.
The Workers Union Says…
Companies have an obligation to create a safe environment for their employees.
That includes appropriate training in the use of equipment, as well as all necessary safety measures required to keep them safe in the course of carrying out their duties.
Legislation to uphold these obligations exists in law, and yet some bosses still insist on taking short cuts – often with tragic consequences.
We need to put an end to this ‘that’ll do’ culture, that presupposes disaster will never happen because it’s so unlikely. In fact, personal injury is still a persistent problem in the workplace.
The tragedy is that it doesn’t have to be like this. By investing in staff training and equipment, companies are more likely to experience goodwill from their employees and foster a culture of mutual respect. These things should not be seen as outliers in the modern workplace when they are, in fact, fundamental building blocks of doing business better.