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News added on 14.09.2020

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Enforcement

Director convicted after ignoring HSE advice

An employer and landlord has been prosecuted for multiple failures to comply with health and safety and fire safety enforcement notices. What were the consequences of these serious breaches?

Mr Mustafa (M), a mechanic with his own car repair and sales business, owned premises in Kent that were used to store car parts and were also rented out as a house of multiple occupation (HMO).

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) received reports that M’s workers were accessing an unguarded flat roof at the premises in 2017. When HSE inspectors visited they uncovered numerous health and safety concerns and issued enforcement notices requiring M to rectify unsafe working at height, dangerous electrical installations and poorly guarded machinery.

Despite receiving support, guidance and warnings from the HSE about compliance, M ignored the enforcement notices, continuing to risk the health and safety of his workers, tenants and the public.

M pleaded guilty to:

  • breaching seven improvement and prohibition notices contrary to ss.21 and 22 Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
  • failing to ensure that the electrical systems on the premises were maintained safely under reg 4(2) Electricity at Work Regulations 1989; and
  • failing to take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent falls from a height under reg 6(3) Work at Height Regulations 2005.

He was also prosecuted by Kent Fire and Rescue Service for fire safety breaches at the premises. He was disqualified as a director for six years, received two suspended custodial sentences, ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work over 15 months and to pay £8,000 in costs.

The working and living conditions created by this business owner and landlord were found by the authorities to be unsafe in a number of ways. He failed to remedy the situation, even after receiving official warnings and advice. For putting his workers and tenants at serious risk of harm, he received criminal convictions and was disqualified as a director.

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