£1.4m fine for two construction firms after safety failure leads to toe amputation for worker

Two construction companies have been fined after a worker’s foot was trapped in a rotating screw.

We look here at one of the 10 biggest health and safety prosecutions of 2018:

On 5 March 2015, Costain Limited and Galliford Try Building Limited were upgrading water treatment works in Cheshire. During commissioning work, a worker’s foot became trapped in a large rotating screw. He needed to have three toes amputated as a result.

The case highlights just how much of an impact breaches of Health and Safety can have both to the individual and their family involved as well as the company itself - It's all very easy to read this and think this won't happen to us, or we'll 'get round' to sorting things, but is it worth the risk? The finiacial penalties are one thing, but on the other side of the coin is the knowing that this was preventable and how that must feel.

The HSE’s investigation found that both companies had failed to properly plan and manage the commissioning work.

Costain Ltd and Galliford Try Limited were found guilty of breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Both companies were fined £1,400,000.00 each with a total of £101,046.20 in costs.

Speaking after the case, HSE Inspector David Argument said: “This injury was easily preventable. The commissioning work should have been properly planned and managed.

“Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk posed by dangerous parts of machinery.”

More information can be read here

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