An award winning food company from North Yorkshire (‘the company’) has been fined nearly two million pounds following serious injuries suffered by two employees resulting from breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (‘the Act’).
Helen Holder of Kangs Solicitors explains the circumstances.
The Circumstances | Kangs Regulatory Offences Defence Solicitors
- Two employees of the company were in the roof space investigating a leak when they stepped onto the same roof light which collapsed causing them to fall more than four metres. One employee suffered a broken skull, internal ear and leg injuries and the other, a punctured lung, four broken ribs and an injured thigh.
- The Health and Safety Executive (‘HSE’) found that the employees were not aware of the existence of the roof lights as they were not visible through a build-up of moss and dirt.
- The company pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Act.
- The company was fined £1.86 million and ordered to pay £8,019 in prosecution costs.
The Law | Kangs Regulatory Offences Team
The Regulations state:
“It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”
Official Comment | Kangs Regulatory Experts
A spokesperson for the HSE commented:
“This was a wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to provide adequate controls against the risks arising from working at height.
“Consideration of roof fragility and rooflights, visible or not, should be made, especially on older buildings.”
How Can We Help? | Kangs Health and Safety Solicitors
The repercussions on a company facing fines of this level are enormous and it is important that any company or individual facing investigation / prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive seek specialist and knowledgeable help.
Our specialist solicitors provide advice and assistance throughout the entire criminal process, from the initial intervention by the Health and Safety Executive through to enforcement, interview under caution and ultimately the defence of any ensuing criminal prosecution.
Who Can I Contact For Help? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors
Please feel free to contact our team through any of the solicitors named below who will be happy to provide you with some initial advice and assistance.