Warehouse firm fined for health and safety breaches08 December 2017
A Kidderminster wholesale warehouse company has been ordered to pay nearly £20,000 for breaching a number of health and safety regulations and putting employees’ safety at risk.
Zety Ltd, based at Haynes Point, Stourport Road, which supplies and distributes furniture shipped from China across the UK and its director Mr Biao Peng were fined following a hearing at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court.
The court was told that health and safety officers from Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS), acting on behalf of Wyre Forest District Council, found that the firm had failed to provide employees with safety information, instructions, a safe working environment and welfare facilities.
The company had also failed to make a suitable and sufficient risk assessment of the hazardous operations and work activities and to have documented this.
Nina Dorrell, prosecuting for Wyre Forest District Council told the court that the health and safety officers made an inspection of the site in Kidderminster in January 2016 in response to health and safety concerns raised by Trading Standards Officers.
During the inspection they found no evidence that risk assessments identifying hazards and precautions necessary were being undertaken as required, nor was there a health and safety policy in place.
The officers also identified health and safety training deficiencies amongst the staff, unsatisfactory workplace transport arrangements, unsuitable sanitary conveniences and unreasonably cold temperatures in the workplace.
After initially serving nine Improvement Notices in respect of the issues identified, the health and safety officers found on subsequent site visits continued failure of the company to comply with a number of the Notices, putting its employees continuously at risk.
The case was heard at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court on 17 November 2017. The company pleaded guilty to 16 offences and the company director, Biao Peng, pleaded guilty to 9 offences in respect of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 breaches.
District Judge Nigel Cadbury fined the company £12,200 and the director Biao Peng £480 in his personal capacity. The company and Mr Peng were also ordered to pay a total of £7,000 in costs and a victim surcharge of £165.
Wyre Forest District Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Community Protection Councillor Juliet Smith said: “The fine sends out a message to others to ensure that lessons are learnt and highlights the huge responsibilities that businesses have when it comes to meeting industry accepted health and safety standards.
“WRS and Wyre Forest District Council will not hesitate to take enforcement action against companies who continually flout health and safety law and put their employees or others at risk.”