A Welsh insulation company that produced natural insulation products have been fined for health and safety failings.
Wrexham Magistrates’ Court heard that Natural Insulation Ltd (formerly Black Mountain Insulation Limited) failed to conduct an adequate risk assessment for the processing of hemp. They also failed to adequately guard machinery.
An investigation by the HSE into concerns raised anonymously found that the COSHH assessment was not suitable and sufficient.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER), and Regulation 6 of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, and was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £59,000.
This case should demonstrate to businesses just how easy it can be to come to the attention of the HSE if poor work practices are not identified and properly controlled. The HSE is bound to follow up on anonymous reports and in doing so has found significant failings in this business.
Clearly complying with Health & Safety legislation requires a reasonable amount of effort; however the payoff is to know your staff and business are in a safe place to work. For this business it would surely have been less expensive to do the right things.