Corby company director sentenced for endangering workers

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A Corby recycling firm has been fined and its director given a suspended jail sentence for endangering workers.

Northampton Magistrates’ Court heard on Thursday, October 17, that despite an Improvement Notice being served by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) against BB Recycling on November 29, 2011, training necessary to allow workers to operate fork lift trucks was continually overlooked even after a deadline to comply was extended until February 28, 2012.

The company and director Russell Wayne Armer were also found to have no employer’s liability insurance, which is compulsory for all employers.

BB Recycling, of Pilot Road, Corby, was fined a total of £300 and ordered to pay £340 in costs after pleading guilty to single breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969.

Director Russell Wayne Armer, of Stamford Road, Weekley, also pleaded guilty to the same three breaches. He was given a fourth month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £80. The court has also applied to disqualify Mr Armer from acting as a company director, managing or in any way controlling a company for at least five years.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Roger Amery said: “Employees were placed in unnecessary danger, but thankfully the situation was resolved before any one was injured.

“The requirement to train fork lift operators is long established across all industries so there is no excuse for this company and its director to blatantly ignore what was required as well as a notice that explicitly called for remedial action.

“Possessing valid employers’ liability insurance, meanwhile, is mandatory for all businesses. So I doubt that many employers will have much sympathy for a firm that was operating without this.”

Information about working safely with forklift trucks, including the need for training, can be found on the HSE web site at www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport