Munster fined £300k for safety failings

Window and door manufacturer Munster Joinery (UK) has been fined after a member of staff was knocked out while unloading a triple-glazed door at a construction site.

Oxford Crown Court heard that in October 2013 Michael Jephcott was working as part of a Munster team at a large housing site in Fairmile, Oxfordshire.

He was knocked unconscious by the triple glazed unit when it hit him on the head, leaving him with whiplash and headaches. He also required physiotherapy.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there had been several previous injuries to Munster site workers and the company had been warned by the regulator and its own safety consultant.

It was found that the Munster had failed to properly investigate incidents and had not ensured loads were secured safely.

Munster Joinery (UK) Ltd, of Stratford Road, Wellesbourne, Warwick, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £18,424.98.

HSE inspector Dominic Goacher said: “Our investigation found that workers at Munster were unable to follow a safe system of work. There is no excuse for this level of negligence when workers are required to handle heavy products regularly.

“This case and the penalty awarded sends out a very strong message. The aim should be to move heavy objects mechanically wherever possible and to reduce the risk of injuries by other means where some manual handling is still required. Too many workers experience long term suffering because of unsafe manual handling.”

Source: Insider Media

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