Lack of training and inadequate supervision puts apprentices at risk
Two employers have recently been fined by the HSE, as a result of injuries to apprentices whilst in the workplace. In both instances an investigation by HSE discovered there was a lack of training and inadequate supervision leading to them sustaining injuries. These cases demonstrate and reinforce the importance of assessing and managing the increased risks that are often associated with inexperience employees.
A manufacturing company has been fined after an apprentice’s hand was caught in machinery. Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard that on 21 November 2018, a 17-year-old apprentice, who had been working at Amber Industries Limited in Oldham for 18 months, was reaming work pieces using an unguarded pillar drill whilst wearing gloves. The glove on his right hand became entangled in the drill bit resulting in three of his fingers being severed.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there were no guards in place to prevent access to rotating parts and that the company had failed to provide suitable information, instruction and training to the apprentice, including clear instructions not to wear gloves. They also failed to provide adequate supervision and monitoring.
Amber Industries Limited of Crompton Street, Chadderton, Oldham pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £52,500 and ordered to pay costs of £14,442.
Greenway Partnership Limited, a Herefordshire based construction company, has been fined after an apprentice fell two metres during the demolition of part of a school premises. Bristol Magistrates’ court heard that on 8 February 2018, the apprentice electrician fell from height, causing facial and head injuries. He was in the process of removing the flat roof of Block 2 Lydney Church of England Community School in Lyndney when the incident occurred.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Greenway Partnership Limited did not adequately plan for the removal of the flat roof. Operatives had not been trained in working at height or demolition, and there was inadequate supervision of the work. As a result, no measures were put in place at the time to prevent or mitigate a fall.
Greenway Partnership Limited of Bromsberrow Heath Business Park, Bromsberrow Heath, Ledbury pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. Despite being in liquidation the company was fined £21,319 and ordered to pay £6,284 in costs.
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