The Workers Union is urging firms to invest in improved health and safety measures.
The announcement came after recent reports revealed that Birmingham City Council brought a successful prosecution against Blue Tyres Birmingham Limited for continuing to use a faulty tyre lift.
The company was served with a prohibition notice when a routine inspection discovered that the large-platform lift was missing a safety gate and the safety interlock and main control panel had also been bypassed.
Some four months after the prohibition notice was issued, a council inspector visiting another business in June 2019, found that the power had been switched back on and the lift was in operation, but the issues identified in February had not been addressed.
As well as prosecuting Blue Tyres Birmingham Ltd, the council also brought the landlord – 365 Services Limited – to court. A spokesperson for Birmingham City Council, said: ‘The lift – the plant – is the property of the landlord. It had a duty under section 4(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.’
On the 6th of August, Birmingham magistrates fined Blue Tyres Birmingham Limited £26,677. They were also ordered to pay £3,751 in costs and a £170 victim surcharge. Meanwhile, 365 Services Limited were fined £16,666, with the final amount rising by £4,170 once costs and a victim surcharge were applied.
The Workers Union on Investing in Health and Safety
Despite the amount of cash that’s pumped into raising awareness of health and safety issues through government campaigns, and the threat of council and Health Safety Executive (HSE) inspections, it seems there are still some employers who like to play fast and loose with employee safety.
We should remember that protecting staff from exposure to unnecessary risks is enshrined in the Health and Safety Act 1974. This piece of legislation covers employer/employee obligations in order to mitigate against unsafe working practices. And yet we still see cases of people crushed by machinery, falling from height or succumbing to preventable accidents caused by malfunctioning plant.
This cannot be allowed to continue. Working people deserve a safe, dignified, well-managed place to work, not a hell-ride on a ramshackle collection of yesterday’s equipment. They have been through enough in recent times without having to cope with the consequences of dodgy bosses skimping on safety investments and essential training.
So, let’s call this out for what it is and understand that building back better also means building back safer.
The Workers Union – fighting for social justice, fighting for you