Businesses have a responsibility to make all of their premises safe. But so often simple measures are overlooked, as demonstrated in the fining of a College in Cambridge when a visiting teacher was knocked over by a delivery van. Are you doing enough with regards to your health and safety?

In February 2016, a 48 year old teacher was on a trip to the UK visiting St Andrew’s College in Cambridge, bringing with her students from Italy. Whilst at the front of the College, a delivery driver accidentally reversed over the teacher, causing multiple fractures and crush injuries. Her head was just inches away from one of the tyres. The driver only eventually stopped when members of the public alerted him.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that St Andrew’s Tutorial Services Ltd, the company responsible for this, had not adequately segregated vehicles and pedestrians. Even worse, the company had in fact identified measures that would likely have prevented this incident, but it failed to implement them.

At the Cambridge Crown Court, St Andrew’s Tutorial Services Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 17(1) of the Workplace Health & Safety and welfare Regulations. The company was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,197.78.

This case ended in a terrible incident, and there are many more companies out there that haven’t implemented the right measures, leaving them vulnerable to accidents such as this. I see many companies tick the box of conducting a risk assessment, but then fail, just as St Andrew’s did, in doing anything further with the findings.

As this case shows, health and safety can literally be a case of life or death. Businesses have a duty to look after their staff and visitors. Too many people sustain serious and life changing injuries from perfectly avoidable accidents, and it’s imperative that businesses take responsibility upfront before these incidents happen.

Are you doing the right thing? Have you implemented the measures identified in your risk assessment? If you’d like to discuss how a dedicated health and safety professional working in your business could benefit you, please get in touch.