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The story of Honda and health and safety

11-02-2013

first aid kitGuest post by: Ingunn Bjøru

An employee, Cesar Santos, literally gave his bosses two fingers recently at Honda in Swindon, but he probably didn’t enjoy the experience as much as he may have hoped.  Whilst using an emery cloth to clean some equipment, his bosses were pressing him to complete the task and his gloves became entangled in machinery.  Two fingers were severed and Mr Santos now had a hand to resemble Postman Pat’s, as well as having 6 weeks off work.  Reports vary as to just exactly how much blood was sprayed around the shop floor, but there are rumours that Honda is bringing out a new range of cars in a colour described as “claret”.

The experience was painful for everyone involved though, as Honda UK were subsequently dragged through the courts as their H&S policies and risk assessments were reviewed and the company was heavily fined after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

One can imagine the horror running across the watching managers and supervisors as they scrambled to react to the real life horror film developing in front of them.  It is always daunting dealing with a hurt colleague at work, but not many of us have had to deal with something quite as serious as two violently removed fingers. As a result Honda have also reviewed their first aid policies across the company.  They have hired a first aid company in Norfolk to attend its Norwich branches to provide new training for its employees before rolling out the training across the company nationally.

Hopefully most companies don’t wait until after one of their staff has been hurt before reviewing their H&S training policies, because as I’m sure Mr Santos will attest to, the correct training, in an emergency, can be really handy.  So come on, if H&S is your responsibility, pull your finger out and stop putting off that risk assessment or booking that first aid refresher course before someone gets hurt!

 

Author Bio:

Ingunn gives advice on first aid matters to companies of all sizes and can be contacted with questions about first aid training in Norfolk.

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