Just this week in the news, we hear of yet another shocking incident involving shoddy working practices where makeshift work platforms have been made in order to compensate for the lack of appropriate ladders and scaffold towers.
The employee in question was attempting to repair a tear in a lorry curtain which meant he had no option but to work 2 metres from the ground. In the absence of any proper equipment to carry out the job safely, such as a ladder or a scaffold tower a makeshift working platform was constructed by using a wooden pallet attached to the prongs of a forklift truck which was used to lift the employee to carry out the repair.
When the employee was being lifted back down following completion of the repair, the fork lift jolted and the employee lost his balance and fell from the wooden pallet causing two fractured heels. Of course this accident could’ve been far worse, however this is yet another incident where companies are blatantly failing to provide appropriate equipment necessary to carry out work safely and expecting employees to improvise with whatever they have available to them.
This incident closely follows another fork lift incident on a farm where an employee fell from the prongs of a forklift which were being used as a platform to carry out work on a food mill. The employee described how there had been no provision of a safe working platform from his employer for him to carry out his work safely,
Both these incidents carry a stark warning from HSE to other companies who may be compromising the safety of their employees. Work at height must be properly planned and organised by a competent person.
There are many incidents of this nature in the UK and the Health and Safety Executive are keen to put an end to such shoddy working practices which causes needless injuries and time off work at best.
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