Health and Safety Matters - Story 2

3 minute read | 04 May 2020 12:37:57 BST


Everyone should go home healthy from work, and we can all do the right thing by protecting the health of our colleagues in the workplace.

We spoke to a number of our learners, asking for their personal stories of how health and safety, its training, and the commitment it instils, helped avoid a near-miss and perhaps helped to save their life and the lives of their colleagues.

Here’s what they had to say…

Story #2 Paul Harley, Senior HSE Consultant

A close friend of mine who worked for a large international company suffered life changing injuries whilst at work in a warehouse.

On reflection, there was a noticeable culture of complacency since employees had suffered relative minor injuries. This resulted in a decline of risk assessments being used in the workplace. However, there had been several serious near miss reports which were not actioned over a period of two years or so.

On the day of the accident, a visiting driver turned up to drop off materials to the warehouse. Due to the lack of traffic management routes, no current risk assessment and a reliance on hi-visibility tabards in the warehouse, my friend got run over by a 6 Tonne Forklift Truck, with his left leg taking the brunt of the accident.

He was taken to a local Hospital for immediate surgery. Within 2 hours of the accident he was given the choice of either full amputation below the knee or reconstructive surgery to rebuild his lower leg. He had to make the decision immediately without much thought of what the future might hold. My friend chose the reconstructive surgery, and I probably would have chosen the same if I had been given the same shocking news.  

The decision to take the surgery has so far led to a further eight operations to harvest skin from most of his body to rebuild the soft tissue, plus several operations to underpin the bone structure.

I cannot describe in words the impact this has had on his  family and friends that day and the following months

I am glad to say that he is now partially recovered and has been left with large amount of scarring and a slight limp in his left leg.

The company he worked for has now implemented suitable a traffic control measures to ensure this type of accident does not happen again, as well as daily risk assessments to identify hazards.  I do ask myself why must it take an event like this to get a someone to action correct health and safety in the workplace/ Just one risk assessment would have mitigated many years of agony and suffering for my fiend.

My take-away message from this would be

Health and safety is everyone’s business top to bottom in an organisation. It does not matter how large or small the business is ALL businesses are made up of people, and people are the most important assets of any business. We ALL have a duty to look after ourselves and everyone else.

Secondly, make sure you are skilled in conducting risk assessments and reporting near-misses. These two steps are crucial s critical in stopping accidents happening in the future. ALL managers should ensure that HSE protocol is taken seriously.


To download your free Astutis Risk Assessment Process Guide, read our first published story, and access your unique 20% off code for our online training courses, click here:


Access Exclusive Ramadan Content


Brenig is a Chartered Safety Practitioner and Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner with more than thirty years’ experience in health and safety enforcement, management, training and consultancy.