Health and Safety for factory employees

Posted on 2nd September 2020

Health and Safety

Factories are a place of work where it is foreseeable that accidents may arise. There are a number of factories in the UK which include car manufacturing and food production which involve employees working with machinery on a daily basis. Health and Safety is of paramount importance in workplaces and employers have a duty of care to ensure that employees have a safe working environment.

The Health and Safety Executive (hse.gov.uk) reported that 92 members of the public were killed due to work related activities in 2019/20.

Typical examples of factory accidents could include:

  1. Struck by a forklift truck
  2. Defective equipment and machinery causing injury;
  3. Slipping on a workplace floor;
  4. Tripping on a workplace floor;
  5. Chemical burns and exposure to chemicals
  6. Lifting and manual handling accidents

Covid-19

This summer we have seen the return of many workers to factories following the Covid-19 lockdown. Many employees in factories were furloughed and have now returned to the workplace and measures are in place to ensure that factories remain safe for the employees and covid secure and they will therefore need to consider social distancing, wearing masks, regular hand washing and cleaning of communal areas. Factories will need to carry out Covid-19 Risk Assessments in accordance with Government Guidelines. This may also involve one way systems for entering the building and leaving the building and staggering work start times and finish times.

Risk Assessments and Training

Workplace’s and factories in particular will require all staff to have the appropriate health and safety training when they start a new job and regular refresher training. Risk assessments will be in place to reduce the risk of accidents occurring to the lowest practicable level and as an employee you need to be familiar with these. A risk assessment is a process by which you consider the task at hand, identify any risks or hazards and considering how someone can be harmed.

Personal Protective Equipment

Employers have a duty to provide you with personal protective equipment. This will depend on the nature of the work place. This can include:-

  1. Steel cap boots
  2. Protective eye wear such as goggles, visors and masks
  3. Head wear such as hard hats
  4. Gloves etc. depending on the nature of the work.
  5. Gowns
  6. Shoe covers
  7. Face shields
  8. Ear shields/ear plugs or muffs to protect hearing

It is essential as an employee that you adhere to wearing the correct personal protective equipment that has been provided to you to reduce the risk of an accident.

If you have an accident at work it is important to report the accident and have an accident book entry completed. Your employer will usually have a duty to report the accident to the Health and Safety Executive.

I have represented a number of people who have been involved in accidents within factories and warehouses. This has included accidents involving forklift trucks, dangerous machinery and unsafe places of work.

Employers Liability Insurance

Every employer is required to have Employers Liability Insurance in place. If you are involved in an accident and wish to bring a claim it will be your employer’s insurer who will deal with the claim and investigate liability.

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