A Bedfordshire-based plasterboard recycling company has been fined after health and safety concerns were identified during a routine inspection of their premises in Bedfordshire on 22 September 2015.
Luton Magistrates’ Court heard that health and safety standards at the site were generally poor. There were no measures on site to prevent pedestrians from coming into contact with moving vehicles, machinery on site was inadequately guarded and unsupported plasterboard stockpiles were leaning against buildings.
A proactive inspection carried out by two inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Plasterboard Recycling Solutions Ltd had failed to ensure that the buildings on site were safe for workers to use because one of the walls of the process building was bowing and the internal roof trusses were bent and damaged.
It was also found the company failed to adequately control exposure to plasterboard dust which was found to be covering the floors, walls, machinery and ledges of the premises. Subsequent occupational hygiene surveys carried out after the inspection identified exposures to dust on the premises were up to twenty times the legal limit.
Plasterboard Recycling Solutions Ltd of Floor Bridge House, Fiddlebridge Lane, Hatfield, pleaded guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulations 6(1) and 7(1) of the Control of Substances hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (as amended) and has been fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,327.60.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Emma Page said: “Employers should be aware of their legal duty to protect the health and safety of their employees.
“Duty holders should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”
Notes to Editors:
- The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We seek to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. www.hse.gov.uk
- More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
- HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk