Last updated: 01.11.11

E-learning 'could help prevent fatal accidents through proper training'

Businesses aiming to become more familiar with health and safety practises may like to use online training to fully prepare against accidents and significant compensation payouts.

This comes following one construction firm was fined £145,000 after an employee fell 10m through a fragile roof onto a concrete floor and died due to the extent of his injuries two years later.J Mills Contractors, based in Trafford, Manchester has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for failing to implement proper training and safety measures, which led to the death of Alan Kerwin.

E-learning programmes often offer training schemes which could help educate employees on the necessary rules and regulations surrounding manual labour jobs, such as construction.Mr Kerwin, 32, fell through the roof while replacing a skylight on a warehouse in Ashton-under-Lyne after there were no safety precautions put in place to prevent such accidents.

Manchester Crown Court heard that Mr Kerwin from Lower Broughton, Salford sustained several serious injuries in the fall on March 31st 2007, including a fractured skull, which later led to a development of post-traumatic epilepsy.The father-of-one was never able to return to work due to the severity of his injuries and he died in 2009 after suffering a fatal epileptic seizure.J Mills Contractors had received safety information from the HSE just a week before the accident, which could have prevented it occurring.

The company admitted breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by putting workers at risk.HSE investigating inspector David Norton said: "Just one week before, Mr Kerwin's line manager was advised by a colleague of mine about the dangers of working at height and how to protect employees. If he had acted on this advice then I'm confident Mr Kerwin would still be alive today."

Online learning programs which specialise in health and safety and employee training are being increasingly adopted by businesses and large organisations.Most recently, Waitrose and the civil service promised to make training easier and more flexible by investing in e-learning systems.