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September 9, 2010

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Inflatables inspector “put children at risk” by ignoring Prohibition Notice

A pensioner has been given an 18-week suspended prison sentence for ignoring a Prohibition Notice, which prevented him from issuing safety certificates for inflatable play equipment.

In November 2008, the HSE issued the Prohibition Notice against Peter John Morrell, 75, (also known as Peter Michael Coltilda) after an investigation revealed that he had passed a number of inflatables as safe despite them having defects.

SHP reported in May that Morrell had appeared at Shrewsbury Crown Court and pleaded guilty to three breaches of s3(2) of the HSWA 1974. He was given two separate conditional discharges, one lasting 12 months and the other for two years.

The day after the hearing Morrell attempted to inspect an inflatable at the Wellington Civic and Leisure Centre in Telford. The centre’s staff became aware that he was banned from inspecting inflatables after reading an article in a local paper earlier that day. They refused to allow Morrell to inspect the inflatable and contacted the HSE as soon as he left.

HSE inspector Janice Dale visited the leisure centre and reviewed the inflatable’s inspection records. She found that Morrell had issued a safety certificate for the equipment in December 2008, by which time the Prohibition Notice had been issued.

Morrell appeared at Shrewsbury Crown Court on 6 September and pleaded guilty to breaching s33(1)(g) of the HSWA 1974. He was given an 18-week suspended prison sentence, ordered to carry out 60 hours of community service, and told to pay £500 towards costs.

After the hearing, inspector Dale said: “By continuing to take money for issuing safety certificates, Mr Morrell not only cheated the companies he issued the certificates for but also risked the well-being of the young children using the inflatable and its blower.

“The reason that an initial Prohibition Notice was put in place was that his work was substandard and unsafe. For him to then breach that Prohibition Notice within weeks of it being put in place – and on the same day he met HSE, who made it clear that he had not yet complied – shows he has utter disregard for the law and for other people’s safety.”

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13 years ago

This took place in England but their standards are similar to ours.