Health and safety company in Bury hit with £22,500 fine

Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001

Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001

A specialist health and safety company has been ordered to pay more than £45,000 for failing to ensure that workers at a furniture factory were protected.

Worksafe Training Consultancy had denied two offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act but were last month found guilty by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court.

The company, based in St Andrew’s Street, Bury St Edmunds, was today fined a total of £22,500 and ordered by Judge John Devaux to pay £22,000 prosecution costs.

During a four day trial, the court heard allegations from the Health and Safety Executive that Worksafe provided “bad advice” to management at Jan Cavelle Furniture in Haverhill.

Also before the court were Jan Cavelle Furniture who admitted two offences of an employer breaching a general duty of care to an employee and were ordered by Judge Devaux to pay fines totalling £18,000 and £4,000 towards the costs of the prosecution.

Another consultancy, Leading Health and Safety Ltd, of Rookwood Way, Haverhill, which also admitted two offences of breaching a duty of care, were fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £5,000 costs.

The prosecution was brought by the Health and Safety Executive after two workers at the furniture factory in Rookwood Way, Haverhill, were injured.

Caine Heathcote and Stefan Puricel had been operating two woodworking machines, a biscuit jointer and an overhead router, when they were injured, said James Hodivala, prosecuting.

It was alleged that Worksafe exposed the two men to risk of serious injury when the incidents happened in 2014.

The jury heard that Worksafe decided to sub contract to Leading Health and Safety Ltd the provision of advice about how Jan Cavelle Furniture could comply with current health and safety requirements.

Managing director of Worksafe, Russell Fife said he accepted that what was provided by the consultant to the furniture company had been “inadequate” but denied that his company had been trying to “make easy money.”

Giving evidence, Mr Fife said that his company was to be paid £1,500 by Jan Cavelle Furniture with about half that amount being paid to the consultant as his fee.