Planning Systems of Work can Help to Avoid Accidents

Planned safe systems of work, particularly for high-risk activities, are essential in preventing employees from improvising and doing something dangerous.

An example of this took place at a paper manufacturing company. Employees had removed essential guarding that prevents people from getting between two pieces of machinery. One employee went in between the two machines, and proceeded to operate the machinery in the reverse direction, rather than the normal direction. As a result of his actions, he became trapped between the two pieces of plant and suffered life-changing injuries. There was then a major prosecution of the company.

It is vitally important to have good systems of work, which are planned and carefully thought through. They must be practical, and particularly with high-risk situations, it is important to try and engineer the problem out and make it impossible for the unsafe action to take place.

In the case of the paper manufacturer, the fixed guard was removed. It is quite possible to make that sort of action impossible by an interlocking system, so that no one can remove the fixed guard, without the machinery first being isolated and in a safe condition. This would have kept the employee safe and unable to put himself in harm’s way.

Do you have planned systems of work to keep your staff safe?

For more information or help with any aspect of health and safety, please call us on 0118 929 9920 or click here to contact us.

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