Employers are under a duty to ensure that the health and safety of people in the workplace is protected by ensuring that risks in the workplace are properly controlled.
The Health and Safety Executive have recently reported the main causes of injury in the plastics industry to be as follows:
When an accident at work occurs, many people are unaware of the wealth of legislation which exists, placing a duty on employers to ensure that health and safety is monitored and upheld.
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 cover a wide range of basic health, safety and welfare issues.
These Regulations apply to 'workplaces' which generally includes premises which are made available to any person as a place of work.
There are some exclusions including ships, construction sites, some means of transport and domestic premises.
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 provides that work equipment which is made available to workers should be suitable for the purpose for which it is used or provided.
Work Equipment is widely defined as "any machinery, appliance, apparatus, tool or installation for use at work" and "use" covers a wide range of activities concerning the equipment.
The Regulations also provide that employers must ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair. If work equipment is suitable for its task, then it makes it possible to reduce or eliminate many of the risks to the health and safety of workers.
It is also vital that work equipment is maintained in order to prevent a potentially dangerous defect occurring.
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998