Incident Highlights Need For Suitable Risk Assessments
A safety expert at Irwin Mitchell has called on employers to ensure risk assessments are carried out on projects which involve working with dangerous substances, after a company was fined over an incident in which two employees narrowly escaped injury.
Tata Steel UK has been fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs in relation to the incident at the Scunthorpe Steelworks in February 2009, when a leaking gas pipe ignited and sent flames up to three metres in length shooting close to the workers.
The company pleaded guilty to two separate breaches of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002, with one related to an unsuitable risk assessment and another concerning a compromise in employee safety.
Stephen Nye, a Partner and specialist in workplace injury at Irwin Mitchell, represents victims who have suffered serious injury as a result of safety failings at work.
He said: “Companies have a responsibility to their employees to ensure that full and proper risk assessments are undertaken which will ensure that any risks associated with the work are identified and catered for by implementing appropriate safety measures.
“While it is fortunate no one was hurt in this incident, it still raises very serious safety questions that we would urge all employers to bear in mind in the future.
“Lessons need to be learned from cases like this to ensure the same issues do not emerge again as there’s the very real fear that next time the consequences could be a lot more serious.”
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