A concrete firm have been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after one of their workers was hit by a forklift truck in Shropshire. 38 year old Tomasz Kosmacz was given the responsibility of removing the build-up of excess concrete from around the moulds at the Elite Precast Concrete factory. The concrete he removed was then placed into buckets and placed onto the prongs of a forklift truck. Sadly he was working too close to the forklift that he was hit.
Accident Caused Great Pain
As a result of the accident Mr Kosmacz suffered from many fractures in his foot, he also had a broken ankle that required four screws and his knee was also injured. Since the incident that took place in July 2011 he has had two operations and still has not been able to return to work.
The HSE investigated the incident and discovered that there were some written instructions regarding not placing buckets on the forks of the truck, instead they should be placed on pallets. These instructions were written in English and had not been translated into Polish which would have benefited Mr Kosmacz and the many other Polish employees working for the company who did not speak English.
On November 16 2012 Elite Precast Concrete pleaded guilty at Telford Magistrates court. They were fined £10,000 for failing to comply with Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. In addition to the fines they were also ordered to pay £3,897 in court costs.
Lack of Care for the Safety and Health of Migrant Workers
Had the instructions been translated into Polish and communicated properly to the non-English speaking employees, including Mr Kosmacz, the incident would not have occurred. As a result a worker has had to endure painful injuries and is still unable to get back to work. The concrete company didn’t take any steps to prevent this accident from occurring. Despite the fact that they rely on their migrant workers they didn’t have enough arrangements in place to ensure their health and safety while at work.
Another issue was the fact that there was no segregation between workers and vehicles. When vehicles and employees work closely together the risks of accidents increase dramatically. It is essential to ensure that distance is provided and clear walkways created to keep employees out of the path of vehicles.
Health and safety consultants will help to ensure you are doing everything possible to keep your employees safe, regardless of their nationality. With an audit it is possible to discover problems that could result in prosecution and accidents if left unattended to. Call 0800 1488 677 to enquire about our audits and numerous health and safety services that could be of huge benefit to you and your workers.
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