Workplace Liability: The Industrial Environment
The Health and Safety Act 1974 states every employer has a duty of care to protect the health and safety of their employees, especially in the industrial workplace. The highest concentration of workplace injuries are sustained within factories, warehouses, storage facilities and construction sites. Heavy pieces of equipment such as manual stacker trucks and aerial work platforms can pose more of a threat to employees than any machinery found in an office. The health and safety legislation can often cause confusion when an employer is faced with an injury to a member of their workforce; who is liable? Which party is responsible? Each case is unique and has an individual set of circumstances, but there are a set of basic guidelines which can help employers to understand their obligations and where they are liable.
“Employers need to be thoroughly aware of their responsibilities and obligations,” says Phil Chesworth, Managing Director of Midland Pallet Trucks, a UK supplier of manual handling equipment for industrial purposes. “As well as protecting themselves from a legal standpoint, carrying out all the necessary checks and maintenance can help to prevent workplace injuries full stop.”
Employers within industrial workplaces should always conduct thorough and extensive risk assessments, and they must provide high-quality training, whilst maintaining all apparatus and safety equipment. High-maintenance equipment like forklift trucks require a great number of training qualifications and maintenance. Pieces of equipment like hand pallet trucks do not require any specific training, but it is always worth carrying out manual handling refresher courses wherever possible to ensure the workforce understands their responsibility when operating the apparatus. This ensures legal compliance with safe working practices and also protects against workplace accidents and injuries happening in the first place.
Those managing a workplace should also appoint a dedicated health and safety officer, who will responsible for all matters pertaining to safety, and who will ensure company-wide compliance with all the relevant procedures and legislation. Having someone who has a comprehensive and thorough understanding of the workplace rules and regulations can also help should a legal dispute arise, whether it is an in-house dispute between the company and an employee, or an external claim from an outside company.
Of course, there are many situations where the employee takes full responsibility for an accident or injury to themselves or another member of staff. Businesses should be fully able to protect themselves in a legal sense, but they should also be taking action to minimise the risk to their workforce, adhering to the 1974 guidelines.
To find out more about pallet trucks and buy online, visit http://www.midlandpallettrucks.com or Tel: 01384 841440.
Please direct press queries to Rebecca Appleton at Dakota Digital. Email Rebecca@dakotadigital.co.uk or Tel: 01623 428996.
About Midland Pallet Trucks: Midland Pallet Trucks is part of the Midland Bearings Ltd Group. Centrally located, the company occupies a 60,000 square foot warehouse and stocks enough products to supply the whole of the UK market with trucks and table trucks.