Expert Calls For Firms To Take Guarding Seriously
The owners of a company in Bolton have been fined for failing to act on formal safety warnings issued across a period of more than three years.
Anthony Smith and Yvonne Barrett, directors of First Packaging Ltd, have been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive for not installing guards on machines used to produce packaging for a number of food outlets.
The firm was originally issued with an improvement notice at its Wadsworth Industrial Estate site in January 2008, while it was also given a six-month extension when the site was revisited several months later.
However, despite being told the factory was to close, the HSE learnt in 2010 that the company actually moved to new premises and continued to use the same machines. The owners then set up another company, but it was revealed they were still using unguarded equipment at the start of this year.
Stephen Nye, a Partner and workplace injury specialist at Irwin Mitchell, said: “These events demonstrate how some employers continue to have a disregard for the safety of workers, with the owners in this case clearly failing to act on a number of notices.
“Standards of health and safety across the UK will only improve if all firms take responsibility show workers that these issues need to be an absolute priority.
“While no one has been injured here, the lack of guarding means the consequences of the safety failings could have been much worse. Lessons have to be learnt from this to ensure other firms do not follow this concerning example.”