Retail company and construction contractor fined over safety failings
On 22nd December, Martin McColl Limited and JMS Retail Concept Limited were both sentenced after two members of the public tripped and fell over construction work outside a convenience store in Dinas Powys, Vale of Glamorgan.
Cardiff Magistrates heard that during the three-day construction of a concrete disabled ramp in January 2016, two elderly members of the public were injured when trying to enter the store.
On 12th January, an elderly woman tripped over the construction work resulting in a broken wrist, a bump of the head and severe bruising. The following day an elderly man fell from the partially constructed ramp which resulted in a broken collar bone and severe bruising.
An investigation was launched by the HSE and it was found that customers were required to walk through the construction site to enter and exit the store. It would have been reasonable practice the close the store during the construction works and install barriers and signs to prevent access to members of the public.
Martin McColl Limited pleaded guilty on the first day of a two-day trial after initially pleading not guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1971. They were fined £600,000 and ordered to also pay costs of £11,520.
JMS Retail Concepts Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety Act 1974. They were fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,038.
HSE inspector Gemma Pavey said,
“These incidents could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices. Commercial clients and companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards”