Company fined over training failure

by Brett Henebery04 Apr 2017
A UK landscaping company has admitted to failing to properly train and supervise work on a dangerous machine after an accident caused an employee’s finger to be amputated.

The employee, working unsupervised, had been operating a log splitter at the time of the accident, in which the hydraulic blade of the log splitter came down onto the log he was holding and severed his finger.
Ed Rogers Landscape Construction and Maintenance Ltd, was subsequently fined £6,000, and ordered to pay costs of £1,017.

The outcome of the court case, reported by Horticulture Week, found that while the employee was working alone on site at the time of the incident, there was no first aid given.

The teenager was later taken to hospital but his injuries were too severe to save his finger.

Following the hearing, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Inspector, Simon Jones, pointed out the importance of thorough training for young people who are undergoing work experience.
“Work experience for young people is incredibly valuable and is to be encouraged but companies taking on apprentices must take into account the young person’s inexperience,” Jones said.
“As a result they should be fully supervised when operating dangerous machinery. The employee being isolated made the situation worse when there was no one on site to help him after suffering this appalling, life changing injury.”

Between April 2015 and March 2016, a whopping 2,554 injury claims were made by young workers, according to WorkSafe Victoria.

The organisation found that nearly 50 people between the ages of 15 and 24 were injured every week during 2015-16.

WorkSafe Victoria is now calling on employers to provide “adequate training” to young workers after they were found to be more prone to workplace injuries.

In particular, young workers in construction, retail, manufacturing, and hospitality sustained the most injuries, with the manual handling listed as the main cause. Moreover, the most common injuries involved the hand, finger, and back.

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