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Examples of enforcement by Local Authorities

Convenience stores failed to adequately manage risks from asbestos

Electrical contractors had been working in the basement store rooms of a convenience store unaware of the presence of asbestos. Environmental Health Officers visited the building and found asbestos insulation board containing amosite throughout the basement store rooms. The board was in poor condition and there was debris on the floor and other surfaces. A Prohibition Notice was served and the premises closed until the asbestos was removed by a licensed contractor. Later it was discovered the company had failed to take action following a visual survey of the premises by an asbestos company who had recommended sampling to confirm the presence of asbestos boarding and gave a quote for removal of the asbestos. This was a serious case, The company were aware of their responsibilities but failed to keep records, assess the risk, prepare and implement a management plan and provide information to employees and contractors.

Outcome:

The store chain was successfully prosecuted for failing to manage the risks from asbestos. The company was fined £12,500.

Carpet retailer ignoring unsafe working practices

A carpet retailer was successfully prosecuted for ignoring council demands to improve unsafe working practices. Despite several warnings over staff working at height in a reckless manner Health and Safety Inspectors repeatedly witnessed offences. Prohibition and Improvement Notices had been served before but poor practices continued. Employees had been unrolling carpet by walking on top of it and walking on top of carpet displays at a height of 2.5m. A proactive prosecution was brought.

Outcome:

The company pleaded guilty to six offences under Health and Safety Law and was fined £35,500. The Council was awarded £10,000 costs.

Hotel and country club prosecuted after an employee suffers a serious injury following a fall

An employee suffered a serious injury when they fell painting a high-level ventilation canopy in the kitchen. The employee had not received any formal health and safety training in the 18 years he had worked for the company and despite previous warnings having been issued to the hotel no risk assessment had been carried out.

Outcome:

The hotel admitted breaching health and safety offences and was fined £21,000 plus costs.

Updated 2009-02-06