HEALTH AND SAFETY
Morley-Based Company fined £128,000 for Breaking Fire Safety Rules
Fire protection inspectors have found that a Morley based company had broke a number of fire safety regulations at its sites in Morley, Batley and Leeds.
The offences included locking the fire doors and blocking emergency exists. One of the blocked exists was at the bottom of a stairwell, meaning staff would have needed to go back upstairs if a fire had occurred. Furthermore, risk assessments were not carried out, the company had not properly trained staff in fire safety and faulty fire alarms were in place.
A total of 20 charges were brought against the company by the West Yorkshire Fire Service, to which the company director pleaded guilty.
The prosecutor said that if a fire had broken out at any of the three sites inspected, the failures would have placed a “risk of serious injury or death” on people present.
In mitigation, the company was said to be “extremely perturbed” by the failures and offered a “complete and unreserved apology”. The company has now put in place as many safety measures as it possibly could. The court heard that this included appointing a contractor to carry out risk assessments every six weeks and all staff been issued with further information about what was expected of them in terms of fire safety and had signed relevant documents to confirm this.
The court however found that this was “too little, too late.” The company was fined £6,000 each for the first 18 offences, and £10,000 each for the last two. It was also ordered to pay £6,307.60 in costs and a £120 victim surcharge. The fine must be paid within 14 days.
The West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service senior fire protection manager said: “I hope the level of the fine sends a message to other companies out there.”
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