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B&Q fined over health and safety breach

Published: 29 January 2015
A B&Q store in Greater London has been fined £65,000 for failing to meet health and safety standards in the workplace, following an investigation by Hillingdon Council's food health and safety team.
B&Q fined over health and safety breach
B&Q was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on Friday, January 16, having previously entered guilty pleas to three health and safety offences relating to its failure to provide a safe system of work for the parking of a 'Mini Bendi' fork lift truck in the warehouse at its Yeading store in Glencoe Road.

In addition to the fine, the company was ordered to pay £18,500 costs to the council.
The case was investigated by Hillingdon Council following an accident notification by the Yeading store. On November 20, 2013 environmental health officers from the council's food health and safety team discovered that inside the warehouse a member of staff operating a Mini Bendi fork lift truck had become stuck in a confined space between a wall and the truck, and was unable to free herself. This resulted in crushing injuries.

Within the space available, the operator of the truck had no option but to reverse park the fork lift. According to Hillingdon Council, arrangements within the warehouse should not have permitted this to have happened and, as a direct result the fork lift operator became trapped.

Richard Heller, prosecuting, told the court that the company had failed to apply its mind to the risk of reverse parking the 'Bendi' in a confined space and had failed to heed warnings about this. In passing sentence, the Crown Court judge accepted that the "protection of the vehicle was given precedence over the safety of the employees".

Cabinet Member for Finance, Property and Business Services , Councillor Jonathan Bianco said: "This was a very serious incident but thanks to the extensive investigation carried out by our officers this will not be repeated. The warehouse has now been redesigned so the equipment can be used safely."

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