Local employer fined following investigation

Published: 5 April 2022

Clock outside Council House

The fine comes after an investigation by Derby City Council's Food and Safety department.

A local employer has been fined £160,000 by Derby Magistrates Court for failing to keep employees safe from material risks in the workplace, following an investigation from Derby City Council’s Food and Safety department.

An employee of Guardian Building Products suffered life-changing injuries following an accident that occurred on 20 August 2018 whilst unloading heavy bathroom panels from a shipping container on site. The incident caused damage to the spinal cord and permanent disability, fundamentally changing the individual’s nature and quality of life.

The company pleaded guilty to multiple breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974), and have been fined £160,000. 

The investigation found that Guardian Building Products, a bathroom products sales firm, failed to carry out a risk assessment of the task, or to take reasonable steps to protect employees and agency workers and ensure the task could be carried out safely.

Speaking after the hearing, Elizabeth Blaney, Food and Safety Manager at Derby City Council, said:

Workplace transport activities are one of the biggest risks in the warehousing and distribution industry. This incident, and the resulting life-changing injuries suffered, were avoidable and occurred because of a fundamental management failing on the part of the Company, who failed to identify the risks involved in unloading shipping containers of stock and put in controls to protect the workers.

Now that the case is concluded we will proactively raise awareness of the need for businesses in Derby to risk assess unloading of deliveries arriving from port in shipping containers, and put suitable controls in place to protect their workers.

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