A Corby recycling firm have been fined and its director given a suspended jail sentence for endangering workers after allowing them to operate fork lift trucks without proper training and then ignoring a notice requiring urgent action to address the safety failing.
Northampton Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday (17 October) that despite an Improvement Notice being served by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) against BB Recycling on 29 November 2011, the necessary training was continually overlooked even after a deadline to comply was extended until 28 February 2012.
The company and director Russell Wayne Armer were also found to have no employer’s liability insurance, which is compulsory for all employers.
BB Recycling, of Pilot Road, Corby, was fined a total of £300 and ordered to pay £340 in costs after pleading guilty to single breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969.
Director Russell Wayne Armer, of, Furlong Street , Desborough, Northamptonshire, also pleaded guilty to the same three breaches. He was given a fourth month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £80. The court have also applied to disqualify Mr Armer from acting as a company director, managing or in any way controlling a company for at least five years.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Roger Amery said:
“Employees were placed in unnecessary danger, but thankfully the situation was resolved before any one was injured.
“The requirement to train fork lift operators is long established across all industries so there is no excuse for this company and its director to blatantly ignore what was required as well as a notice that explicitly called for remedial action.
“Possessing valid employers’ liability insurance, meanwhile, is mandatory for all businesses. So I doubt that many employers will have much sympathy for a firm that was operating without this.”
Information about working safely with forklift trucks, including the need for training, can be found on the HSE web site at www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport
Notes to editors
- The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
- The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, section 33 1 (g) states: It is an offence to contravene any requirement or prohibition imposed by an improvement notice or a prohibition notice (including any such notice as modified on appeal);
- Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, section 9 (1) states: Every employer shall ensure that all persons who use work equipment have received adequate training for purposes of health and safety, including training in the methods which may be adopted when using the work equipment, any risks which such use may entail and precautions to be taken.
- The Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 states: Except as otherwise provided by this Act, every employer carrying on any business in Great Britain shall insure, and maintain insurance, under one or more approved policies with an authorised insurer or insurers against liability for bodily injury or disease sustained by his employees, and arising out of and in the course of their employment in Great Britain in that business, but except in so far as regulations otherwise provide not including injury or disease suffered or contracted outside Great Britain.
- HSE information and news releases can be accessed at: www.hse.gov.uk/press