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February 13, 2024

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Worktops firm fined after repeated failures to protect employees

A Stockport-based stone worktop manufacturer has been fined £26,000 for repeatedly putting its workers at risk.

The interlock guard on the sliding doors wasn’t working. Credit: HSE.

Granite & Marble Shop Ltd consistently put their employees at risk from serious injury by failing to adequately guard dangerous machinery at their site in Roland Road, Reddish.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector visited the site in 2019 and enforcement action was taken to have the appropriate guards installed, and to introduce daily checks, to ensure these were in place and functioning correctly.

However, when an inspector returned to the site on 18 August 2021, the guarding measures that had been put in place were broken or disabled – once again placing employees in danger.

The HSE found that the company had failed to properly manage, supervise, and monitor the control measures that had been put in place, in order to ensure that guards were being used as intended.

“Machinery safety and supervision and monitoring is a must”

The Granite & Marble Shop Ltd, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and were fined £26,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,708 at a hearing in Manchester Magistrates’ Court on 31 January 2024. The prosecution was brought by HSE enforcement lawyer Sam Crockett.

After the hearing HSE Inspector Stephanie Simcock said: “This case highlights how critical it is that all employers make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery.

“Machinery safety and supervision and monitoring is a must. We will prosecute if repeated breaches are found, regardless of whether there has been an incident.

“Despite an earlier intervention and advice being given, this company continued to fail in its duty to protect its employees.”

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2 months ago

So first visited in 2019 and enforcement action applied, then no return visit until 2021. In the meantime employees were still exposed to the risk of serious harm and injury over a two year period. WHY ?