Prioritising Safety: Legal Consequences for a Stockport Marble Workshop
In a recent case that underscores the critical importance of prioritising health and safety in the workplace, Granite & Marble Shop Ltd, a stone worktop manufacturer based in Stockport, faced a substantial fine of £26,000.
The penalty was imposed due to repeated failures to protect its workers, a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
A Series of Safety Oversights:
The company, situated in Roland Road, Reddish, consistently put its employees at risk of serious injury by neglecting to implement safe working practices, despite warnings from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). A critical lapse was the absence of an interlock guard on sliding doors, enabling them to be opened while the machinery was in operation.
An initial HSE inspection in 2019 led to enforcement action, requiring the installation of appropriate guards and the implementation of daily checks to ensure their proper functioning. However, when a subsequent inspection took place on August 18, 2021, it was discovered that the guarding measures were either broken or disabled, once again exposing employees to danger.
Lapses in Management and Control Measures
The HSE investigation revealed that Granite & Marble Shop Ltd failed to adequately manage, supervise, and monitor the control measures that were put in place. Specifically, the interlock guard on the sliding doors was found to be non-functional.
The company pleaded guilty to the charges, resulting in a £26,000 fine and an additional cost of £3,708.
HSE’s Message and Vigilance
HSE Inspector Stephanie Simcock emphasised the significance of this case, stating: “This case highlights how critical it is that all employers make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery.”
Simcock reiterated the importance of machinery safety, supervision, and monitoring, affirming that the HSE will not hesitate to prosecute repeated breaches, irrespective of whether incidents have occurred.
Our Commitment to Safety
At Compass Health & Safety Consultancy (HSC), we understand the paramount importance of ensuring the safety of your workplace and workforce. With thorough risk assessments, proactive implementation of control measures, and continuous monitoring, we uphold exemplary safety standards to safeguard your business and employees.
If you have concerns about your equipment or processes, our experienced team is ready to provide tailored solutions, ensuring a secure and compliant working environment for your business.
On this occasion, we were fortunate that the identified safety lapses led to prosecution before any harm befell the workers. While this outcome is ok, it prompts a crucial question – why wait for prosecution to address safety concerns?
At Compass, we advocate a proactive approach to safety. Rather than reacting to legal repercussions, we encourage businesses to prioritise prevention. Our commitment is to identify and rectify potential safety hazards before they escalate, ensuring a workplace that not only meets legal standards but goes above and beyond in safeguarding the well-being of your employees.
Don’t wait for a legal wake-up call, contact us today.