Health Care Provider Fined for Health and Safety Failures
Monday, 30th October 2017
A Bedford based health care provider has been fined after it failed to act on concerns raised by an occupational health nurse.
Southwark Crown Court heard how on 28 June 2014 an employee raised concerns with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) relating to the running of an internal occupational health service. The HSE investigation found that the health care provider failed to appoint sufficient occupational health professionals to run the service which compromised the health and safety of its employees, patients and general members of the public, putting them at risk of suffering ill health or of acquiring an infection. HSE served four Improvement Notices as part of the investigation.
The HSE investigation into the concerns found that the health care provider also failed to provide adequate health surveillance for its workers. As a consequence of this, a nurse working at a Hospital in Lincolnshire, was diagnosed with occupational dermatitis on 12 January 2015, which later spread from her hands to her arms and legs.
The Bedford based health care provider pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 were fined £550,000 and ordered to pay costs of £36,320.44
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Emma Page said: “Healthcare providers should be aware of their legal duty to protect the health and safety of their employees as well as their patients and service users. HSE will not hesitate to hold those accountable who do not fulfil their legal obligations.”