‘Keighley Firm to pay £28,000 For Employee Negligence

A lighting supplier has been fined £8,000 for subjecting staff to appalling working conditions that one Health and Safety Executive (HSE) labelled “the worst workplace I have inspected in more than ten years”.

A HSE investigation into Keylighting Ltd in Keighley uncovered a catalogue of health and safety issues, with 12 Improvement Notices being issued by the HSE.

Electrical specialists found 70 defects on the system, seven requiring urgent attention, as well blocked sinks in the toilets, no running water facilities and a lack of ventilation and protective equipment in the welding area.

Inspector Morag Irwin, who made the original visit to the premises in May 2010, said after the the hearing: “This was, without doubt, the worst workplace I have inspected in more than ten years with the HSE.

“The conditions the employees had to endure at work were totally unacceptable, a threat to works’ health, and in breach of many health and safety regulations.”

Irwin said that during the coldest December in more than a century, many employees were working in temperatures only a few degrees higher than outside.

Keylighting Ltd must pay a further £20,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 between 25 May 2010 and 25 January 2011.

“There was no one at the company with the competence to manage even the most basic levels of health and safety.

“If any employer shirks their responsibility and ignores legislation, putting their workers at risk, it is only right that the HSE takes enforcement action,” added Irwin.

According to the latest HSE statistics, 100,000 people in Yorkshire and Humber suffered from work-related illness in 2010/11.

By Richard Wilson.