Window fitter fined for work van smoke

A WINDOW fitter has been fined after he was spotted smoking in his work van.

Graham Furniss, 48, of Kiln Way, Wellingborough, was spotted smoking in his van on October 19 last year by two environmental health officers working for Milton Keynes Council.

He was ordered to pay £750 at Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court after being convicted of the offence on Thursday.

Furniss was issued with a fixed penalty fine of £50 and if he had paid within 15 days it would have been reduced to £30.

But he refused to pay it and the issue went to court.

He was charged under the Health Act 2006 for smoking within an enclosed work space, namely his work vehicle, while carrying a passenger.

Furniss, who represented himself in court, denied the charge but magistrates found him guilty. He was fined £130 and ordered to pay court costs of £600.

The court had heard that council officers were involved in an operation called Operation Rogue with Thames Valley Police when they spotted Furniss smoking.

The operation was aimed at disrupting the activities of doorstep criminals who travel large distances to commit crime and distraction burglaries.

Simon Teesdale, environmental health team leader for Milton Keynes Council, said: “Smoking in the workplace whether it be in the office or in a vehicle used for work has not been permitted since 2007.

“I am glad to say the vast majority of people respect that this law is for the protection of everyone’s well being as passive smoking is recognised by medical experts as posing a serious risk to health.”

Carol Atter, of Windsor Road, Wellingborough, said: “It’s the law to not smoke in work vehicles and I think people should stick to it, particularly as there was someone else in the van.

“Even if they had opened the window it wouldn’t let the smoke all out.

“Anyone who got into the van after them would be able to smell it, what if someone else had to drive it after him?

“It is unpleasant for non-smokers.”