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Missing safety guards lead to serious accidents at work

View profile for Kate Sweeney
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There are stringent health and safety laws in place in the UK, but things can and do still go wrong. Accidents at work can lead to serious injury or even death, and some of the most common incidents occur because of a lack of adequate safety guards on tools, machinery and conveyor belts.
 
While such accidents are often associated with heavy industry, there are also a surprisingly high number of them occurring in offices, medical facilities and other working environments.
 
The consequences of missing safety guards
 
Labourer Sean Forsythe from London suffered severe injuries after his hand was dragged into a screed pump which he had been cleaning with a hose. The pump had a guard missing, but if it had been in place the accident could have been averted. The pump was on hire, but his employers were still negligent because it was their duty to make sure it was safe to use.
 
In 2009, Michael O’Brien used a drill that should have had a guard fitted, and the subsequent accident led to a permanent loss of movement in three of his fingers. He also required skin grafts afterwards, and has been unable to return to work.
 
An unguarded conveyor belt led to Soleco, a salad preparation company, being fined several thousands of pounds after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive. The potential injuries that could have been caused by the belt may even have been life-threatening.
 
Employers have a legal responsibility to secure the safety of their employees by ensuring the correct safety guards are fitted to all types of machinery. Unguarded machinery can drag people into them, via their hands or hair, or any tools they may be using. The repercussions are often serious, and they can sometimes be fatal.
 
Loss of limbs leading to permanent disability drastically changes lives and should be adequately compensated for.
 
If you have suffered an injury in your workplace due to a missing safety guard, contact Stephensons on 0333 344 4772 for advice on claiming compensation for your injuries, future care, recuperation and loss of earnings.
 
By personal injury solicitor, Kate Sweeney
 

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