Companies that see either employees, clients or even passers-by suffer serious injuries could find themselves in trouble in court, just as a contractor from Dorset has done in recent days.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has revealed details of its prosecution of Woodland Environmental in the aftermath of an accident in July 2010 that saw a lorry driver suffer a serious hand injury.
An unnamed man has been left with permanent injuries after he attempted to clean his wheels at a golf driving range. He was carrying out maintenance work near Barnet when a rope held taut to a brake lever caught his hand and severed his index finger, half of his middle finger and part of his ring finger.
As medics could not successfully reattach the fingers to his hand, he has been left permanently disfigured as a result of the incident.
It was found that the rope at the centre of the injury had no place on the wheel cleaning equipment, but had been attached to it for several months. Woodland Environmental was responsible for managing and monitoring the equipment.
HSE inspector Stephron Baker Holmes said: "Those who provide work equipment need to take effective steps to ensure that it continues to function properly and to ensure that it is not subject to clumsy, make-do adaptations - as was the case here.
"The failures of Woodland Environmental contributed to a wholly preventable incident that has left the lorry driver with permanent, life-changing injuries."
Such a case could provide a useful reminder to other firms that are responsible for machinery that they cannot afford to neglect their duties. Should they do so, they could have serious injuries on their conscience and a severe penalty to look forward to.
Woodland Environmental was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay almost £9,000 in costs after pleading guilty to two breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, making its failure to look after the wheel cleaning station an expensive mistake.