Self-proclaimed “sofa experts” DFS Trading Limited has been heavily fined after safety failings which led to a worker suffering serious neck and head injuries in July 2015.

The worker was unloading wooden furniture frames at one of their upholstery sites, when he was struck by an unsecured furniture arm which fell from an unstable load.

The impact rendered the worker unconscious, and caused him to suffer serious neck and head injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that DFS failed to adequately manage the risks of heavy loads being moved between manufacturing sites. The company also failed to supervise the work taking place with a number of near misses being reported from unsecured loads.

The law imposes a duty on every employer to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees. This also extends to and other people who might be affected by their business. Employers must do whatever is reasonably practicable to achieve this. This extends to providing safe plant and machinery and safe premises, a safe system of work and competent trained and supervised staff.

This includes a duty to assess risks in the workplace. Risk assessments should be carried out that address all risks that might cause harm in your workplace.

DFS Trading Limited was fined £1 million. HSE inspector Lyn Spooner commented that: “DFS is a large national organisation. 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.” 

We can help

If you have suffered an injury at work as a result of poor risk assessment or supervision contact us. Our Personal Injury team will tell you whether you have a claim.

We have offices around Lincolnshire and Newark. We may be able to take your claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

Call 01522 561020 to speak to a member of our Personal Injury Team.

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