South Yorkshire furniture giant fined £1m after worker knocked unconscious

The furniture giant DFS has been fined £1m after one of its workers was knocked unconscious and seriously injured.

Friday, 3rd March 2017, 5:35 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:10 am
DFS admitted breaching safety regulations

The company, based in Rockingham Way, Adwick Le Street, Doncaster, was ordered to pay up after an employee was hit by a furniture arm which fell while he was unloading.

He was knocked unconscious and suffered serious neck and head injuries during the incident at the firm's upholstery site in Alfreton, Derbyshire, in July 2015.

DFS Trading Limited was fined £1m and ordered to pay £15,099 in costs at Derbyshire Magistrates' Court after it admitted breaching safety regulations.

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The prosecution followed an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which found DFS failed to adequately manage the risks of heavy loads being moved between manufacturing sites.

The court heard the company had failed to supervise the work taking place and there had been a number of near misses previously.

Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Lyn Spooner said: "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.

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