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Construction firms fined for poor safety measures

Two construction firms in Greater Manchester have been fined after inspectors found they had put their workers at risk.

The first case involved the fatal accident of a 63-year-old welder in Chadderton, who suffered multiple injuries when the crane he was operating collided with another machine.

The accident occurred when the operator of the second crane inadvertently pressed the wrong button. He was later found to have only worked at the company for six weeks, and had been given no formal training.

After entering a guilty plea, the company was fined a total of £125,000 and has since introduced safety measures such as regular training for staff, anti-collision lasers and physical barriers between cranes.

Unprotected circular saws risked employee health

While in this instance a member of staff tragically died, another company was prompted to act before an accident occurred.

This case concerned a gate manufacturer in Tameside, which was fined £10,729 after it failed to install protective guards on two circular saws at its factory.

Despite two warnings that it must not allow staff to use the saws until guards were fitted, the company had still not acted on the request one month later, prompting the Health and Safety Executive to criticise it for “[continuing] to expose its workforce to danger”.

That company has since subcontracted its wood cutting work, meaning the dangerous saws are no longer required.

What should these employers be doing?

While both of these employers did eventually act on their health and safety obligations, companies have a responsibility to put such measures in place right from the start in order to avoid accidents.

Factories and construction sites are particularly high risk environments, and businesses must ensure all staff have the correct protective equipment and training before carrying out any task. As demonstrated above, they should also make sure potentially dangerous machinery is safe to use.

If your employer fails to do this and you subsequently suffer an injury, Croftons Solicitors can help you make a workplace accident claim. We can also assist families who have tragically lost a loved one after an accident at work.

Our team are vastly experienced in a wide range of circumstances, and can provide all the practical support you need throughout the process. Call us today on 0800 2800 094 to speak to one of our experts.

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