Employers Must Protect Temporary Christmas Workers, Says Lawyer

Lawyer Praises HSE For Action


A leading Glasgow lawyer has praised the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for taking action against a leading Perth bakery, after an incident that saw a worker sustain serious injuries when their hand got caught in the rollers of a machine.

Elaine Russell, partner and personal injury specialist at Irwin Mitchell, welcomed the outcome of the case and said it was a lesson to employers not to shirk their responsibility to protect workers.

She said the problem could be particularly bad at this time of year when a lot of temporary staff were enlisted to cover shifts over Christmas.

The call came as the HSE prosecuted Tower Bakery, Perth, after a Confectionery Manager suffered a crushed hand and serious puncture wounds whilst cleaning a dough sheeter. The firm was fined £4,000 at Perth Sheriff Court.

Russell said: “The company in question was found to have failed to carry out correct training for use on the machine in question, which is simply inexcusable in this day and age.

“This incident involved a relatively senior member of staff and just proves that, without the right training and safety measures in place, incidents like these can happen to anyone.

“The risks are increased by a significant margin when dealing with temporary staff, such as students working over the holidays. It doesn’t matter how long they’re with a company, it is vital for all staff to be trained fully when dealing with potentially dangerous machinery.

“Irwin Mitchell deals with scores of workers in similar conditions whose lives have, in many cases, been devastated by accidents at work. It simply isn’t worth ignoring the procedures that have been put in place for a very good reason.”