FATAL ACCIDENT ON THE WORKPLACE DUE TO THE ABSENCE

FATAL ACCIDENT ON THE WORKPLACE DUE TO THE ABSENCE

The Italian Supreme Court confirmed the sentence for manslaughter filed against an employer who had an operator working on a compactor roller lacking the required guards which guaranteed the immediate and automatic machine stop in presence of an emergency situation (sentence n.6854 registered on 21/02/2012). Such a sentence clearly establishes that the employer should supply operators only with the”latest generation” machinery in order to not be held responsible for any accident during machinery running.

The Supreme Court clarifies that 'the employer is by law required to implement all the necessary measures to guarantee workers safe working conditions and should also ensure that each worker follows the current safety regulations and the company's safety policies. In other words, the employer is legally accountable for the physical safety of the workers'

This means that the employer is not only asked to equip the company with the best technology on the market, but must also keep up-to-date with the placement on the market of safer equipment and the ignorance of which is defined as negligence. The employer must also guarantee workers safe working conditions by ascertaining the observation of all current laws and regulations as well as the company safety policy and procedures.

In other words, the employer is the sole subject who guarantees the physical safety of workers and therefore is legally accountable should they fail to fulfil such mandatory protection duties.

Finally, it is worth noting that the Supreme Court observed that ' beyond any reasonable doubt, if the machinery upon which the worker had been working had been one of the newest generation , i.e. fitted with a different and efficient safety system, the accident would have not occurred'.

Had the employer carried out a machinery risk assessment and defined the safety “Performance Level” conformant with the Machinery Directive 42/2006, and the B EB 13849 standard, it would have been simple to establish what type of signal should be detected in case of an emergency, the appropriate safety component to be installed and its correct positioning between the dangerous machinery and its operator.

Safety on the workplace cannot be underestimated: the employer, therefore, should not rely on chance and good luck, but should plan and act in order to reduce risks for his workers and himself.

Access supports and guides company management in the safety and risk assessment and evaluation of the plant machinery in terms of guard fencing systems, CE certification for market placement and the safety status of pre-existing machinery in order to define technical up-dates.

For further information contact: fast@accessafe.eu
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