A national furniture company has been fined £1 million for “systemic failings” that resulted in an employee suffering serious head injuries.
A worker at DFS Trading Limited sustained serious injuries to his head and neck after being struck by a falling furniture arm that was unsecured on July 2, 2015, Derby Magistrates’ Court heard.
DFS Trading Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Health and Safety at Work regulations after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the firm hadn’t sufficiently managed the risks of moving heavy loads between its manufacturing sites.
A ‘preventable accident’
The employee was knocked unconscious by the unstable load and sustained serious head and neck injuries.
The investigation also found that DFS had failed to properly supervise the task that was being undertaken and a number of near misses had previously been reported involving unsecured loads.
This was unexpected for a company of this size, the HSE investigators have said.
HSE inspector Lyn Spooner said: “DFS is a large national organisation. The fundamental and systemic failings identified in their health and safety management systems is far from what would be expected from a company of their size who has the ability to deliver higher standards of safety.
“Unfortunately DFS were unable to do that on this occasion and a preventable accident was allowed to occur.”
DFS Trading Limited pleaded guilty at Derby Magistrates’ Court to breaching sections 3 of the Managing Health and Safety at Work Regulation and also section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
The judge ordered the firm to pay a fine of £1 million and costs of £15,099.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: March 2, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown