3 August 2015

The Better Way May Not Be The Safer Way

In February 2013, a Leeds based glass-making company was prosecuted after an employee was injured while using an industrial high-pressure jet washer to clean a production line. The employee suffered a severe cut to the base of his left index finger when the lance of the jet washer fell from his grip, and the Leeds Magistrates’ Court found that the employer had not provided the worker with adequate training, information or instruction. (HSE Ref YH33/13).

The HSE investigation discovered that the firm had bought the jet washer to clean dirt and oils from the glass forming section of the production line – a job which, up till then, had been done manually. However, the employer did not carry out an assessment to see how the equipment should be used, and did not provide instruction on what gloves to wear. After the hearing, the HSE Inspector said that the company had not stopped to think whether the high pressure water jetting was really necessary, or if the safer method of manual cleaning could continue to be used.

According to TraffiGlove, the fundamental mistake that the employers made was not considering the safety implications before changing the status quo. ‘We spend every single day helping customers to analyse the tasks their workers undertake from a safety perspective. All companies – whatever their business – will be on the lookout for faster or more economical ways of getting things done, and that’s to be expected. But staying safe has to come before saving time and money, so ideally a safety analysis should be carried out long before any changes are introduced.’

TraffiGlove believe that health and safety is of the utmost importance which is why we only produce the highest quality protective gloves. Contact us here or call on +44 (0) 1344 207090 for more information.

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