January 2020’s Health & Safety Update Changes to the Health & Safety Law Poster
The Health & Safety Law poster informs workers what they and their employers need to do to ensure their health and safety in the workplace.
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has published a reprint of the Health and Safety Law Poster. All employers have a legal duty under the Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations (HSIER) to display the poster in a prominent position in each workplace or provide each worker with a copy of the equivalent leaflet, which is also available in hard copy.
There is no change to the written content in the reprinted version, and no legal requirement for owners of the current HSE approved Law Poster to replace it with a new one.
Employee Wellbeing Is Now On The HSE’s Radar
Ill health means more than physical disorders. In the UK, stress, depression and anxiety are now the main cause of ill-health and account for 54% of working days lost due to illness.
Stress, depression and anxiety disorders affected 602,000 employees in 2018/19, with 12.8 million working day lost.
Unlike other types of illness, the number of stress-related illnesses is increasing steadily. It has reached a rate of 1,800 case per 100,000 workers, up considerably from 1,380 in 2014/2015.
In previous years there had been no enforcement in workplace-related cases of stress and anxiety, but this is now on the radar of HSE inspectors. Prosecutions in this area are yet to occur, but inspectors have the remit to issue improvement notices, which can also involve financial charges for companies under the Fee for Intervention (FFI) scheme.
County Council Fined £1.4m After Child Suffers Life Changing Injuries
A County Council has been fined £1.4m after a bollard fell to the ground whilst the child was sat on it. As a result, the child suffered serious, life-changing head injuries that were initially life-threatening and spent six months in hospital in a critical condition.
A HSE investigation found that the 69kg bollard was damaged and not properly secured. The bollard had been reported to the council prior to the accident, however monthly scheduled inspections failed to spot this. The investigation also found insufficient information, instruction and training were provided to the council’s highways department personnel conducting ad hoc and monthly inspections, and the inspection guidance was misleading.
The council was found guilty after a trial of breaching Section 3(1) of Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and has been fined £1.4m and ordered to pay full costs of £130,632.
Vehicle Repair Company Fined £20,000
A vehicle recovery and repair company has been sentenced after a new worker suffered fatal crush injuries during maintenance work, only hours after he’d started his new job. An investigation by the HSE found that a cable reel drum jack was used to support the vehicle, which was not an appropriate piece of equipment for the task being undertaken. The company was found guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £20,000, the highest amount available to this court.
Haulage Company Fined £8000 After Fall From Height
A haulage business has been fined £8000 after a driver fell from a trailer to the ground. A HSE investigation identified that there was a failure to make a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and a failure to provide and maintain a safe system of work. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £8,000.
£60,000 Fine After HSE Non Compliance
A company and its director have been fined after failing to comply with health and safety regulations and an enforcement notice. The HSE carried out a series of inspections at a construction site which resulted in prohibition and improvement notices.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015; and Section 21 of The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
The company was ordered to pay a fine of £60,000 plus a surcharge of £170 and full costs of £5216.46. The company owner also pleaded guilty to breaching Section 21 of The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was sentenced to 18 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months, 180 hours of unpaid work, and was ordered to pay a surcharge of £115, and full costs of £5060.69.
International Parcel Company Fined £533,000 Due To FLT Injury
An international parcel company has been fined after an employee was seriously injured after he was struck with a fork lift truck. The employee’s injuries included a fractured arm and soft tissue injuries to his legs.
A HSE investigation uncovered inadequate segregation of forklift trucks and pedestrians within the workplace. A risk assessment had been carried out but had not identified the importance of achieving robust segregation in an area where frequent forklift truck movements took place. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been fined £533,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,033.39.
If you or your business would like to avoid costly HSE fines then you’re in the right place. Our health & safety team are here to assist you in improving your health & safety standards throughout your company. Call our team on 08450 50 40 60 or complete the contact form on the right and a member of our team will be in touch.