Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

Workers Lives Put At Risk – Are You Ensuring Your Employees Safety?
Posted by David Cant on April 25, 2012
1 Comment

As an employer it is down to you to do everything you can to reduce the risks for your employees. This week affirm of dry cleaners based in Bedford have been prosecuted for not following their legal duties. Their employees’ health and safety was jeopardised because the company owners failed to make sure their gas boiler was safe.

Environmental Health Officer Raised the Alarm

Attention was brought to the firm after the Environmental Health Officer from the Bedford Borough Council carried out an inspection. The firms gas fired boiler was discovered to be in a poor state of repair. The boiler had obvious signs of corrosion, many of the burners were not functioning and the flue was broken. This meant that the workers and anyone entering the shop was being put at risk of being poisoned by carbon monoxide gas that was leaking from the boiler.

The Health and Safety Executive visited the dry cleaners and immediately handed out a Prohibition Notice. The Notice demanded that the owner had to show the boiler was not leaking any carbon monoxide.  A follow up check discovered that the company did not introduce a safety procedure of having the steam pressure system checked frequently. Therefore they HSE decided to prosecute the firm.

Your Employees Welfare is of Paramount Importance

Any company, regardless of the size, must be seen to be regarding the welfare of their employees. Kemptson Cleaners Limited was taken to court where they pleaded guilty for breaching the Provisions and Use of Work Equipment Regulations and the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations. The company was fined a total of £6,000 for the breaches and ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge and an additional £1,146.50 in court costs.

Kempston Cleaners had breached Regulation 5(1) of the Provisions and Use of Work Equipment Regulations. This states that every employer must ensure that all work equipment is in a state of efficiency and well maintained. The Pressure Systems Safety Regulation they breached was Regulation 8 that says that a periodic examination by a competent person is required for installed systems or mobile systems to be used.

Never Put Lives at Risk

Stephen Faulkner, a HSE inspector, spoke after the court hearing. He said that the boiler was in a disgraceful condition. The dry cleaner chain had obviously disregarded the health and safety of their workforce, and therefore they had to be prosecuted. The Health and Safety Executive will always prosecute any company where the owners put lives at risk.

If you have any work equipment in your premises that are being used by your employees you must do everything necessary to ensure it remains safe. Having regular checks by a competent person is a must. If you would like to find out more about your legal duties regarding equipment and pressure systems you can contact the health and safety consultants for advice.

Never put the lives of employees at risk. You will be prosecuted, fined or even receive a prison sentence. To find out more about health and safety in the workplace, and the various health and safety services available, contact the experts on 0800 1488 677.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: Construction Health and Safety, Health and Safety Policy, Health and Safety Regulations, Health and Safety Services, Workplace Safety

One Comment

  1. October 25, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    this is very helpful
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