Worktops firm fined £26k after repeated failures to protect employees

There was no interlock guard on the sliding doors

A Stockport-based stone worktop manufacturer has been fined £26,000 for repeatedly putting its workers at risk.

Granite & Marble Shop Ltd failed to implement safe working practices, despite warnings from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The company consistently put its employees at risk from serious injury by failing to adequately guard dangerous machinery at its site in Roland Road, Reddish, the HSE said.

A HSE inspector visited the site in 2019 and enforcement action was taken to have the appropriate guards installed, and to introduce daily checks, to ensure these were in place and functioning correctly.

However, when an inspector returned to the site on August 18, 2021, the guarding measures that had been put in place were broken or disabled – once again placing employees in danger.

A HSE investigation found that The Granite & Marble Shop, of Cheadle Place, Stockport Road, Cheadle, Cheshire, had failed to properly manage, supervise, and monitor the control measures that had been put in place, to ensure that guards were being used as intended.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and were fined £26,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,708 at a hearing in Manchester Magistrates’ Court on January 31, 2024. The prosecution was brought by HSE enforcement lawyer Sam Crockett.

After the hearing HSE Inspector Stephanie Simcock said: “This case highlights how critical it is that all employers make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery.

“Machinery safety and supervision and monitoring is a must. We will prosecute if repeated breaches are found, regardless of whether there has been an incident.

“Despite an earlier intervention and advice being given, this company continued to fail in its duty to protect its employees.”