A car servicing and repair company in Bedford has been fined £6,700. This fine has arisen due to breaches in their health and safety requirements which resulted in an employee suffering a serious injury at their work. Automotive Services (Bedford) Ltd was the company that found itself being taken to court by their local council. The incident that caused the court action came about when a car tyre split when it was being inflated.
This led to an investigation being carried out by borough council environmental health officers, who focused on how the incident became such a severe one. The investigation uncovered that an employee of the firm was blown into the air, reaching a height of over two metres. This occurred when a tyre split when it was being inflated and the incident led to the employee requiring hospital treatment and eventually surgery. The employee suffered two fractured ankles.
It was found that the firm had not implemented a proper safety process for the task of inflating tyres and there was no following of the standard industry practices either. The investigation also uncovered that there was an unsatisfactory level of training, there was insufficient instruction and there was a lack of supervision provided to the employees. A representative of the firm pleaded guilty at the Magistrates Court in Luton back in December of 2014 and the fine was issued for a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974. The fine amounted to £6,700 and the company was also instructed to pay in excess of £10,000 in legal costs.
Car servicing firm fined
Sarah Jayne Holland is a local councillor and she is also the Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Regulatory Services. At the end of the case, she released a statement, saying; “Due to the serious disregard for health and safety in the workplace the wellbeing of an employee was put at risk, causing injuries to be sustained. This accident was entirely avoidable had the appropriate safe systems of work, training and management been implemented within the workplace.”
The firm released their own statement after the case, saying; “The company takes the welfare of its employees extremely seriously and has had a good health and safety record with no incidents before or since the accident in May 2013. Automotive Services Ltd co-operated fully with the council’s investigation and immediately after the accident employed an external consultant to review all their working practices and health and safety procedures and any recommendations have been implemented in full.”
In the modern era, there is absolutely no excuse for a car servicing firm not to have proper written procedures for working practices. There may be times when there is a lack of supervisory staff on hand but this is where there needs to be a level of training that ensures every employee knows what they should be doing.