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Breach of Health and Safety causing a incident ?


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Upon the date of 7/03/2009 i was on reach truck driving duties, putting stock into high level locations for future replenishemnt slots. half way through the shift placing a pallet on level 3 the pallet broke, with the load tipping forward and some of the items falling to the floor. i stopped the truck instantly, leaving the forks holding the pallet best it could, i placed pallets at each end of the lanes i was in, to prevent pickers coming into the area, and went and reported the incident to my supervisor, from there i proceeded to tape the area off as instructed, with the supervisor returning to the office, 20 minutes passed with no one coming to the area of the incident, so i again went to search for the supervisor, whom this time came with a manager, whom in his words declared the area a diacaster zone, due to items falling from the pallet and falling into the lane in front. another 20 minutes passed with fellow collaugues asking what happened etc etc, then i was walked from the warehouse by another supervisor into a office to give a statement of events, from there i was taken to the main reception area to await the drug and achol testing, which is company policy, i passed both tests, and returned to the warehouse to continue duties, but not reach truck duties i was moved onto picking trucks to pick. Which i have been driving since that date.

Today i received a letter dated 19/03/2009 stating i have to attend a Investigatory Meeting due to a possible Breach of Health and Safety on friday 27/03/2009. Which will be Conducted by a HR Manager and Shift Leader.

 

Having worked at the company for 6 years now, i have seen many collaugues lose pallets in the racking, with pallets breaking or by fault of there own, ie mis handling of such, how-ever none have had to attend such meetings, hence i am questioning to myself why i have been called to attend this meeting. ?

I am drafting a letter of response, to take into work on tuesday, my next shift, asking for the health and safetys report and other documentation on this incident, before the date of the meeting, so that i know what will be discussed during the meeting, since this is only a investigatory meeting i don't feel too worried about it as i feel i havn't breached any health and safety, it was just a unfortunate pallet breaking, that was out of my control, however i don't want to be used as an example to others and brought to disiplinacy stage. Is there anything i need to ask b4 this meeting and what should i watch out for ? if anything.

i will be ringing my union rep tomorrow for extra guidance.

!2 years Tesco distribution supervisor

7 years Sainsburys Transport Manager

 

4 Years housing officer ( Lettings )

Partner... 23 Years social services depts

 

All advice is given through own opition, also by seeking/searching info on behalf of poster, and own personnel dealings.

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Guest Old_andrew2018

you could send a PM to forum members with HR expertise, such as Sidewinder or Ell-enn

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This should be little more than a formality. This type of incident happens, and a responsible company SHOULD be taking every possible step to ensure that the incident was handled correctly and identify any processes which might be altered to reduce the chance of it happening again, perhaps with more serious consequences. It should have been recorded as a near miss and the HSE would expect nothing less than an investigation to establish that it happened through no fault of the company, and that the incident was managed correctly. Any risk assessments which had been completed to identify areas of potential danger will need to be reviewed and possibly changes to working practices.

 

For you part, you need to ask whether:-

 

1. It was apparent when picking up the pallet that it was in danger of breaking

2. The load weight was appropriate for the category of lift truck being used

3. The load was stacked appropriately

 

That should be sufficient to prove that you met your responsibilities to maintain the safety of yourself and others. As far as what happened after the event goes, it would appear that your actions were sufficiently safety conscious to prevent the risk of injury to others and you alerted appropriate personnel to the incident at the earliest opportunity.

 

Is there anything more that you should have done in managing this incident, or have you failed to comply with any aspect of company policy? Hopefully this will only be an investigation, with your testimony helping to complete a thorough picture of what happened and how it might be avoided in future, but it would be sensible to ask the Union to attend the hearing with you as is your right. You are entitled to also ask why the hearing is neccessary and whether you are being blamed for any part of what happened. If that is the case then call for an adjournment pending more information in order for you to prepare. You may also ask why colleagues have not been similarly summoned to a hearing when the same thing has happened in the past.

 

I am sure that there is nothing to worry about - if they felt that you were responsible for this incident a suspension would have been appropriate. Let us know how you get on.

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry for not replying any sooner, ive read ur post and many thax for it. the Investigation was held and it has been decided that it go to the stage of disceplinary which is to be held on the 14th of may. I'm in talks with my union whom will be attending, the letter states...

 

You are invited to attend a disciplinary meeting in accordance with the companys procedure, the following allegation to be discussed.

Breach of health and safety causing a incident on 7/3/09

 

Ive recieved all the minutes and paperwork relating to the above, ill let you know what happens, this is the 2nd stage to the investigation that i attended.

!2 years Tesco distribution supervisor

7 years Sainsburys Transport Manager

 

4 Years housing officer ( Lettings )

Partner... 23 Years social services depts

 

All advice is given through own opition, also by seeking/searching info on behalf of poster, and own personnel dealings.

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Hi had the above meeting, got a verbal warning which will be on my employment file for a period of 3 mths, which i got 1 mth knocked off due to the long time scale it took for the investigation etc to take place, which means the verbal will last just 2 mths. Given the cirmcumstances i still think the verbal isnt warranted, and have thought about placing an appeal in, but after thought have decided to let sleeping dogs lay so to speak.

!2 years Tesco distribution supervisor

7 years Sainsburys Transport Manager

 

4 Years housing officer ( Lettings )

Partner... 23 Years social services depts

 

All advice is given through own opition, also by seeking/searching info on behalf of poster, and own personnel dealings.

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In future inspect everything you lift on your stacker, if it is not correctly loaded then do not shift it.

If you think the load is not secure same applies.

Obey all the company rules regarding stacker driving, and stick to them like glue.

That includes exceeding the speed limits within the shed for your stacker.

At the end of the day, if you consider the job is not safe to do, then refuse on safety grounds.

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