A catering equipment cleaning business has been fined £200,000 after a worker fell into a tank of water heated to 76 degrees centigrade.
The incident occurred on the 8th of January 2018, when the worker stood on a tank lid and it gave way. He was pulled from the tank by a colleague but suffered 37 percent burns. He died a week later from his injuries.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that Pan Glo (UK) Ltd had not carried out appropriate risk assessments or documented systems of work for maintenance to the tank line. There was no guidance available to staff needing to access the rear areas of the tank, and no instruction on whether crossing the lids of the tanks was acceptable practice. This meant that staff routinely employed this method, placing themselves at elevated risk of injury.
After a hearing at Preston Magistrates Court last month, Pan Glo (UK) Ltd of Skelmersdale, Lancashire pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc. 1974. They were subsequently fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,597.14.
The Health and Safety Executive’s principal inspector, Helen Jones said: ‘This was a tragic incident, and our thoughts remain with the family involved.
‘The death of this man could easily have been prevented had the company acted to identify and manage the risks involved, and to put a safe system of work in place.’
The Workers Union Says…
Another day, another avoidable tragedy. Perhaps we should be surprised that serious accidents are relatively rare, given ‘that’ll do’ is the attitude that pervades many businesses.
But it won’t do. Workers deserve a better deal than to be left to dodge the claws of fate. Sooner or later, without proper supervision and adequate training, tragedies unfold.
So, let’s end with a question that begs only the simplest of answers: How many more times must working people suffer because bosses skimp on basic health and safety procedures?