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  • Rudy Witele

The importance of suitable and sufficient risk assessments

Use of proper equipment to prevent accidents and injuries

The law mandates that employers safeguard the well-being of their employees and others. This article explores instances where employers fell short of this crucial obligation, highlighting the repercussions of such failures.

Two recent prosecutions highlight the critical importance of thorough risk assessments in preventing workplace accidents.

Frozen food giant McCain Foods has been fined £700,000 after an employee lost two of his fingers when his arm was dragged into machinery on a production line. An employee tried to remove string dangling from a chute. The guard on the machine wasn't sufficient and his left hand was drawn in and contacted the machine’s rotary valve.

Worker's finger injured because of lack of Health and Safety awareness

The injuries received resulted in the amputation of two fingers with the employee continuing to suffer from circulation and mental health issues. The HSE in prosecuting the case revealed that McCain Foods had failed to provide appropriate guarding to prevent access to the dangerous parts of machinery, namely the rotary valve.

The Health and Safety Executive found it had not conducted an adequate risk assessment of the batter machine and staff had not been provided with adequate training or supervision. In addition under the Provision and Use of Equipment Regulations (PUWER), the company had failed prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery and to stop the movement of any dangerous machinery before a person enters a danger zone.

The second incident occurred on the set of the Fast and Furious 9 movie.  A stuntman suffered serious injuries whilst performing an action sequence. The HSE stated that the company had not properly reviewed and updated the risk assessment when changes were made to the original sequence. The film company was fined £800,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £14,752.85.

The HSE has recommended a five-step process for completing a risk assessment. This provides a useful checklist to follow to ensure that the assessment is suitably comprehensive. Managing risks and risk assessment can be found at:

Processes to enhance effective risk assessments

At Base Solutions, helping you keep your employees safe is our top priority. We understand that following risk assessment guidelines isn't just about following the law, it's about making sure everyone gets home safely to their families. We can provide the risk assessment services you need to prevent such accidents, ensuring your workers are safe and your business remains compliant.

Want to take control? We offer user-friendly online courses to teach you the step-by-step process of conducting risk assessments. In addition to online options, we also offer in-person training to fit your needs. Contact us today to find out more!



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