Last updated: 26.10.11

Health and safety flaws 'could be improved with online learning'

Health and safety training through e-learning could improve the amount of at-work accidents.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recently announced the prosecution, resulting in a £10,000 fine for a freight company.

An incident between a lorry and a forklift truck in which the delivery driver was run over by the forklift truck in a depot resulted in the company in charge receiving the significant fine.

Further training on health and safety practises in the depot yard may have prevented the incident. Such training could have been performed through the virtual classroom, whereby employees can find out about rules and regulations in a way that is independent, flexible and easy to access.

E-learning platforms for such industries may also be good as a drop-in and drop-out facility where the information can be accessed at the point of need.

Verplas received the penalty for the incident which happened in March last year.

Employee Kevin Davey, 61, was injured in the accident and suffered two broken ankles and fractured lower legs. Although Mr Davey has since returned to work at the company, the firm has been advised to look into its policies surrounding safety in the workplace.

HSE inspector Ian Smart said: "The message is that if firms have limited space they still have to organise their operation so that they don't have conflicting activities going on in the same place."

"Even though Mr Davey was very experienced, this potentially career-ending injury still occurred," Mr Smart added.

Dorset-based company Verplas' case was heard at Bournemouth Magistrates' Court, where it was decided that there was an obvious breach of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

HSE's act states: "It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees."

Verplas is a manufacturer of ventilation accessories for the white goods industry and has been running since 1986.