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£1m fine for DFS following serious injuries to worker

24 February 2017

Derby Magistrates' Court has been fined DFS £1m with costs of over £15,000 after it was found guilty of breaching health and safety regulations leading to one of its workers sustaining serious injuries.

Occurring on 2 July 2015, head and neck injuries resulted from the worker being hit by an unsecured furniture arm falling from an unstable load, the court was told.

The male worker had been unloading furniture at one of the company's upholstery sites when the accident occurred.

An investigation was conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which found that DFS had failed to manage risk concerning heavy loads moved between manufacturing sites.

In addition to the incident being investigated, a number of other near misses had been reported relating to unsecured loads.

The court issued the fine and costs against DFS Trading Limited of Rockingham Way, Adwick Le Street, Doncaster, after it pleaded guilty to breaching section 3 of the Managing Health and Safety at Work Regulation and also section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work, etc, Act 1974.

HSE inspector Lyn Spooner said: "The fundamental and systemic failings identified in their health and safety management systems is far from what would be expected from a company of their size who has the ability to deliver higher standards of safety.

"Unfortunately DFS were unable to do that on this occasion and a preventable accident was allowed to occur."

The company stated that it made considerable investment in improving health and safety procedures and training since the incident.

It also reported that the injured worker had recovered and returned to his previous role.


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