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  3. Company fined £15,000 for PPE failure

A company has been fined £15,000 by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) after a worker sustained serious injuries by not being provided with personal protection equipment (PPE).

In March 2005 Kevin Creak was forced to kneel for approximately five hours
while laying a cement floor as part of an unspecified London project.

Chemicals present in the cement attacked his nerve endings, meaning he had no idea of the serious burns he had sustained until he had finished the job.

City of London Magistrates Court heard that Mr Creak was provided with no PPE and no method statement or risk assessment was carried out.

The court also heard that neither the site manager, Mr Creak, nor other employees were aware of the dangers wet cement can pose.

HSE guidelines recommend that where contact with wet cement cannot be avoided appropriate PPE should be provided, which in this case should have included non-permeable clothing and kneepads.

The company admitted breaching articles 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, for which it was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £7,000 costs.

Workplace Law Network quoted HSE inspector Lisa Chappell saying: "This was a very unfortunate series of events that led to serious injury for Creak. Cement is widely used throughout the construction industry and requires a thorough risk assessment.

"The prosecution has highlighted the company's failures to identify the hazards associated with cement, and to provide suitable information, training and appropriate protective equipment to employees."

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