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Recent prosecutions by the UK HSE

The UK Health & Safety Executive (UK HSE) publishes regular press releases relating to safety incidents. These can be found on the HSE website. IMCA monitors these publications and passes on brief information relating to some of these incidents, from which members may draw lessons.

Incident 1 – Worker crushed while unloading a vehicle

A worker suffered crush injuries while unloading a vehicle from a visiting delivery lorry. He was unchaining a vehicle ramp from a delivery lorry when the lorry moved forward with one chain still attached to the ramp, crushing the worker between the ramp and a barrier.

Investigation by the UK HSE found that there was:

  • A failure to fully control the risks arising from the operation of vehicle loading and unloading ramps;
  • There were no suitably robust systems of work implemented;
  • There was insufficient training to allow workers to safely unload vehicles;
  • There was no briefing for visiting drivers to the worksite.

The HSE inspector noted that something as simple as removing the visiting lorry driver’s keys until the procedure was safely completed was one method which could have prevented such an occurrence.

The full press release can be found on the HSE website.

Incident 2 – Workers suffer serious burns in electrical flashover

Two workers suffered serious burns from an electrical flashover. They were working to reinstate the power supply to a furnace after repair work had been completed by contractors. After replacing the fuses, they shut the door to the fuse panel which engaged the interlock and tried to close the main switch. As this would not operate, they opened the panel door and decided to bypass the interlock using a screwdriver in order to try the main switch again. At this point an electrical flashover occurred. Both employees suffered serious skin burns requiring surgery followed by a two week stay in hospital to recover.

An investigation carried out by the UK HSE found that:

  • There were no electrical safety rules, safe systems of work or a permit system in place;
  • There were no recorded systems or rules for working with electricity;
  • There was no assessment of risk and the injured employees were not provided with any specific instructions on how to undertake the work safely;
  • The company also allowed employees to work on live conductors without consideration of the conditions which are stipulated in [UK] law.

The full press release can be found on the HSE website.

Safety Event

Published: 14 June 2018
Download: IMCA SF 12/18

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