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HSE Case Study 2 MAST 4 SMEs Mech Eng and Fit Ltd

Mech Eng and Fit Ltd employ 15 in steel fabrication and installation of mainly food production equipment.  Their workforce has been with them many years.  The MD started from scratch 40yrs ago.  Trade has continued to be good even in the downturn, although a few of the fitters have been rectifying faults in their last job in the local bakery.  MD is not too concerned as it keeps them busy.

Premises consist of owner occupied unit on light industrial estate.  Wide range of metalworking equipment, some of which is computer controlled, to cut, machine, form and paint coat their products.   Installation undertaken by own staff who have their own access to height equipment, including ladders, staging and zip up tower scaffold.

MD has attended a few h/s updater courses organised by his member organisation, the EEF.  They provided him with an overview h/s report 3 yrs ago, including management system documentation.  He’s told his staff that h/s is important and sent his foreman on COSHHH, first aid, risk assessment and fire precautions one day courses.

Each year his Human Resources administrator collates and checks that there are risk assessments for the high hazard jobs within the workshop.  Any accidents requiring time off are recorded and viewed by HR admin. 

A recent HSE inspection, prompted by an unsatisfactory lifting equipment report, which majored on slips/trips/COSHH and manual handling found some machine guarding inadequate (no pedestal drill chuck guards), some respiratory masks not being worn, poor housekeeping and heavy tools and equipment being handled into/out of work vans.  The MD received a letter giving advice.

The HSE didn’t mention the store room man’s knife accident.  This resulted in a deep laceration to his hand when using a fixed blade Stanley knife to open a package.  The MD put it down to carelessness and was surprised when his insurance company settled the claim.

Updated 2009-09-15