Dunstable firm fined nearly £35k over health and safety failings

The scales of justice
The scales of justice

A Dunstable haulage firm has been fined almost £35,000 after being prosecuted for health and safety offences.

Trans Haul (Europe) Ltd, based on the Woodside Estate, failed to respond to multiple concerns raised by Central Bedfordshire Council despite being given repeated advice from environmental health officers.

The road haulage service was prosecuted by the council in October. It pleaded guilty to failing to meet its duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 of ensuring the health and safety of all employees at work.

Last Friday (2 February) at Luton Magistrates’ Court, Trans Haul was ordered to pay a total of £34,742 in fines and prosecution costs.

The prosecution followed multiple concerns raised between April and July 2016.

These included the company failing to maintain and update a written health and safety policy; not having risk assessments and safe systems in place for things like operating forklift trucks, working at height, racking use, manual handling and fire safety; and failing to ensure that pedestrians and vehicles were safely kept apart at their premises.

Council officers also raised concerns over issues such as a lack of information, instruction, training and supervision for employees at Trans Haul.

Cllr Ian Dalgarno said: “We would like to remind businesses of their responsibility to keep their employees and others safe at all times by carefully managing and controlling any risks.

“Our public protection team is available to advise and support businesses to meet their legal requirements. However, in instances like this, where businesses repeatedly fail to comply and miss the deadlines to resolve issues, we will take appropriate enforcement action.”