The Health and Safety Executive has investigated the work practices of an Ipswich-based company after a worker was severely injured in a workplace accident. Workers who are employed by Essex companies may be aware that employers are responsible for the well-being of their staff and may be fined if they fail to meet these obligations. The case was heard in Ipswich Crown Court where the judge ruled that the company had failed to meet adequate safety standards in its working practices.
The accident occurred in Felixstowe on August 2014 on the premises of GMA Warehousing and Transport Limited. Two workers were tasked with moving a slab of marble weighing a tonne, and while one of the men operated a fork lift truck, the other was assisting him. During the course of the procedure the load fell and crushed the man providing assistance. The investigation by the HSE showed that the system of work was unsafe and held the employer responsible.
The company, based in Ransomes Europark in Ipswich, admitted to a failure to adhere to the Health and Safety at Work Act, Section 3(1). The court handed down a fine of £100,000 and the company is also required to pay costs of almost £10,000. The worker who was crushed in the accident received serious leg injuries from the falling load as well as injuries to his torso and head. An HSE inspector pointed out that employers were required to implement working practices to ensure the safety of their workers.
The responsibility for the health and safety of staff lies with employer, and the law requires that a company implement all reasonable work practices to avoid an unsafe work environment. A solicitor knowledgeable in the legislation governing health and safety at work may be able to offer legal advice to someone who has been injured in a workplace accident.