The importance of risk assessments at work
In the very tragic case recently reported involving the death of an employee at Morrisons the importance of risk assessments has been highlighted.
Matthew Gunn was 27 when he had a seizure at work and fell down the stairs tragically losing his life.
Morrisons were fined £3.5 million for their failures to safeguard Mr Gunn and put measures in place to prevent the tragic accident.
The three health and safety breaches that Morrisons were charged with were:
- Failure to ensure the health and safety of an employee with epilepsy.
- Failure to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment.
- Failure to review the risks that an employee with epilepsy might be exposed to.
There is a high probability that had management at Morrisons taken Mr Gunn’s condition seriously and moved his locker so that he did not have to walk up and down the stairs frequently during the workday, that he would be alive today.
Put simply the steps employers should take are as follows:
- Obtain information about employee medical conditions or disabilities.
- Analyse the risk to that individual of their working environment.
- Take action to mitigate any risks identified.
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