A bedding company was found to have a complete disregard for health and safety and to treat their health and safety documentation as a paper exercise after failing to act on two improvement notices served following a routine inspection by an environmental health office.
The owner of Witney Ltd appeared at Salford and Manchester magistrates’ court and pleaded guilty to two offences under Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act resulting in a fine of £32,000 for the offences and costs of £4,914.44 were also awarded. A judge had planned to fine the firm £54,000 but reduced it to take into consideration the guilty plea.
The court was told that the officer visited the warehouse at Devonshire Road, Worsley, on August 15th 2016 for a routine inspection and found a catalogue of health and safety failings including: -
- Several areas of damaged, bent and unsafe racking;
- Boxes stored on the roof of the office, parts of which had no guard rail to prevent stock or staff falling over the edge;
- Boxes unevenly and badly stacked and staff pulling items from the lower boxes which were being crushed by those above, causing the whole stack to become unstable;
- Staff using damaged ladders to reach goods;
- The warehouse floor littered with packaging which was a trip hazard;
- Aisles blocked with stock and a liquid petroleum gas cylinder.