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£1m fine for DFS after employee sustains serious injuries in work accident (2 March 2017)

Date: 02/03/2017
Duncan Lewis, Personal Injury Solicitors, £1m fine for DFS after employee sustains serious injuries in work accident

Furniture company DFS Trading Limited has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), after safety failings led to a worker sustaining serious neck and head injuries.

On 2 July 2015, the unnamed worker was unloading wooden furniture frames at one of the company’s upholstery sites, when he was struck by an unsecured furniture arm which fell from an unstable load.

The impact knocked him unconscious and he suffered serious neck and head injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that DFS had failed to adequately manage the risks of heavy loads being moved between manufacturing sites and the company had also failed to supervise the work taking place, with a number of near misses being reported from unsecured loads.

At Derby Magistrates’ Court, DFS Trading Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 of the Managing Health and Safety at Work Regulations and also Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The company was fined £1million and ordered to pay costs of £15,099.

After the case, HSE inspector Lyn Spooner said:

“DFS is a large national organisation – the fundamental and systemic failings identified in their health and safety management systems is far from what would be expected from a company of their size, which has the ability to deliver higher standards of safety. Unfortunately DFS were unable to do that on this occasion and a preventable accident was allowed to occur.”

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