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Inadequate Equipment Training Leads To Fatal Injury On Mobile Platform.

17th December 2013
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER 1998) Regulation 9 states that employers must “ensure that all persons who use work equipment have received adequate training for the purposes of health and safety, including training in the methods which may be adopted when using work equipment, and risks which such use may entail and the precautions to be taken.”

Accidents claims for both major and minor incidents occur in all types of factory and warehouse workplaces, often as a result of a lack of risk assessment, inadequate training or limited experience with operating machinery. In difficult economic times, it’s always likely that staff reductions, neglect of basic maintenance and ongoing equipment faults tolerated will lead to staff injuries or even fatal accidents.

There can be occasions when staff are asked to undertake tasks or operate machinery they might have limited knowledge or experience of how to respond when an unexpected problem arises. This was the unfortunate circumstances when a 39-year-old fire precaution system installer lost his life simply because his co-worker had no knowledge of operating the emergency controls on a scissor lift platform.

While working at height on a scissor lift platform, the system installer had become trapped between the platform guardrail and the overhead ducting, and according to a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident, was unable to be released by his co-worker due to inadequate training.

At the subsequent court hearing, the installation company was found to be “not directly responsible” for the death of its employee, but nevertheless, should have “ensured better training to operate mobile elevated work platforms (MEWPs), in particular, the emergency controls.

Pleading guilty to a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, the company was fined a total of £59,000 including court costs.

PUWER 1998 Regulation guidelines advise that as part of “adequate training” an employee should be trained to make up any shortfall between their competence and that required to carry out the work with due regard to health and safety.

According to the HSE, the construction industry sector recorded 2,230 major injuries received from all types of accidents and a 7 per cent increase in all non-fatal injuries, up from 7120 in 2010/11 to 7621 in 2011/12.