Tougher sentences could prompt improved warehouse safety

New sentencing guidelines could lead to better health and safety for warehouse workers who manually handle items.

Revised sentencing guidelines as of this month mean that courts can impose tougher penalties for companies their directors if found guilty of manslaughter because of gross negligence in work-related fatal accidents.

It is rare for manual handling accidents to be fatal but a poor safety record will be taken into account in sentencing if such an accident does occur. David Broxton of glass fitting and equipment firm Bohle, said:

“If you have a series of manual handling incidents behind you, or anything else for that matter, where it could be interpreted that you had failed to provide the right equipment or PPE, it would count against you under the new sentencing laws.”

Though accident rates have dropped, there are still many incidents involving manual handling.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) supports the new sentencing guidelines and wants all employees to review their health and safety policies and act on any gaps they find. They recognise that responsible employers will already be doing this as good health and safety practices are the right thing to do and good for business. The new sentencing guidelines are a warning to unscrupulous firms that neglect health and safety.

Warehouse equipment manufacturers make their equipment as strong and safe as possible, but it is up to individual users to make sure that their staff are trained in manual handling health and safety practices.


Posted by Katrina
11th December 2018

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