Poultry firm fined over safety issues

A poultry firm and its contractors have been fined over £84,000 for “repeated” safety failings at its poultry site in Lincolnshire.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted GW Padley Poultry after inspectors found unsatisfactory safety conditions at its site. Safety concerns were raised about at the Wigtoft site after inspectors found four workers working on top of a poultry building, supplied by Harlow Bros,  which had no edge protection and could only be accessed by an insecure ladder. The inspector issued Kenneth Tomlinson, director of K & M Tomlinson which was sub-contracted the building work, with a prohibition notice, which disallowed further work on the building. However, when inspectors revisited the site, work had already been completed, in violation of the notice.

As a result, the firms were taken to Lincoln Crown Court, where the court heard Harlow Bros had previous convictions for work on poultry houses without edge protection. Harlow Bros incurred the highest fines and was ordered by the court to pay a total of £45,000, alongside GW Padley Poultry which was fined £9,000 and ordered to pay £15,000 costs. Philip Bates, who was also sub-contracted the work, was fined a total of £10,054.50.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Martin Waring said: “In this case there was clear evidence of a very poor attitude to health and safety generally on this site. Each of the defendants had clear duties to ensure the safety of the workers, but these were repeatedly ignored.

“Working at height poses very obvious dangers, but our visits uncovered a catalogue of safety breaches, which could have had led to a fatal or very serious injury for a worker had they fallen.

“There was a continued and deliberate neglect of duties by particular parties in this case; and directors who disregard their responsibilities will be held personally accountable.”

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