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Safety products firm fined for not protecting its staff

16th September 2010 | Warning Signs

Posted by Ben Alexander.

A business that specialises in making sophisticated machines utilising modern safety tools has been fined for failing to protect the very people who make them.

Selby Magistrates court this week heard how Lambert Engineering Limited, based in Tadcaster, was found to have breached health and safety legislation after a visit by a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector.

It was discovered that protective guards on shop-floor machinery was missing or unused, and in some cases safety measures had been purposely altered by workers, causing machinery to operate dangerously.

The North Yorkshire firm, which employs about 115 people, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974 and was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £4,198 in costs.

Commenting after the hearing, HSE inspector Geoff Fletcher said: "The company failed to ensure that their machines and specifically the safeguarding mechanism were maintained effectively, allowing dangerous practices to develop and remain unchecked over some ten years."

Mr Fletcher said it was pure luck, not effective safety management, that an injury did not occur.

According to the HSE, 151 workers died at work between 1st April 2009 and 31st March this year.


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