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Fatal Head Injury Could Have Been Avoided
Posted by David Cant on May 5, 2011

Companies must take their Health and Safety Obligations Seriously

Yet another tragic loss of life has highlighted the need for employers to make sure the health and safety within the workplace is taken seriously.  Balbir Rayatt was working for Cannon Automotive Ltd in Tottenham when he was hit in the head by a steel barrier.

Mr Rayatt from Essex suffered fatal head injuries as he was carrying out maintenance on a rubber mixing machine.  This accident was completely preventable had the company taken advantage of full health and safety services to ensure all their employees were working in a safe manner.

Steel Fabrication Was Not Secured

After the incident on May 20 2008 the Health and Safety Executive carried out an investigation at the car mat manufacturing plant in London.  The investigation showed that the steel barrier was stored upright and not secured as it rested against the containers which held the rubber compound powder.

The City of London Magistrates Court were informed that the company had not carried out a risk assessment and had not put in place a safe method of work in place for when carrying out maintenance of the rubber mixing machine.  The firm failed to supervise the maintenance arrangements and also failed to review, carry out an audit and manage the system.

Failed to Maintain Health and Safety Standards

Cannon Automotive Ltd pleaded guilty to the prosecutions brought against them by the Health and Safety Executive.  The company was fined £20,000 for breaching section 1(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 which states that it is the duty of the employer to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all the employees. In addition to this the firm will have to pay a further £13,100 in costs.

Neil Fry, a Health and Safety Inspector, spoke after the hearing at the City of London Magistrates Court.  He said that the death of Mr Rayatt was completely preventable and the accident and others like it are caused by the employees failing to provide safe working conditions and their poor standards.

This case has highlighted the need to perform maintenance checks and the need to plan the work out thoroughly.   Mr Fry stated that he hoped that companies in the whole of the UK would take note of this incident which proved to be too late for Mr Rayatt.

Health and Safety in the Workplace

Occupational accidents and diseases can be prevented by carrying out risk assessments, careful planning a Health and Safety Audit and health and safety training.  Without these necessary precautions firms are putting their employees at risk.  Veritas Health and Safety Consultants can help you to make sure that you are doing everything which is required by law to keep the workplace a healthy and safe environment.

Veritas provide Health and Safety services which include fire risk assessments, training and full audits to help you discover which policies and regulations are working, and which are not.  Call our experts free on 0800 1488 677 today to find out more.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: Workplace Safety

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