Employers 'can prevent work deaths'
Posted Mon, 12 Jul 2010
Employers should note steps to avoid industrial accidents following the trial of a plumbing firm boss over the death of an 18-year-old apprentice.
Michael Scott was crushed to death at work by falling MDF boards in December 2006, while working for an Aberdeen plumbing company.
A spokesman for claimssolicitors.co.uk listed certain steps firms could take.
Employers should ensure: clear instructions given in person or writing; adequate supervision all the time for young or junior staff; risk assessment, particularly when lifting or carrying of heavy materials is involved; safe storage of heavy or bulky gear or materials; daily checking of store rooms and warehouses; and experienced assessment of safely performing manual handling beforehand.
"Statistics show that young employees in particular are more susceptible to work accidents," said the spokesman.
"In evidence heard by the court it emerged that Michael had been working alone and unsupervised and had been sent his instructions that morning by means of a text from his boss. Although this case is taking place in a Scottish court the wider principles apply to cases in England and Wales.
"Although the outcome of this trial is yet unknown it would seem that there are already lessons to be learnt."
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Scottish Health and Safety Executive