Car repair company and director fined after breaching enforcement action

A Rochdale based car repair company and director have been fined after failing to comply with Improvement Notices (IN) issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard that on 10 June 2016, Rochdale MOT Centre Limited and director, Nazar Hussain, failed to comply with three Improvement Notices that required the thorough examination of three two-post vehicle lifts by the specified dates in the Notices.

HSE investigated the premises at Albion Road Industrial Estate, Rochdale after being alerted to the company by the Local Authority. The company had also been prosecuted in June 2016 by Rochdale Council for a breach of an abatement notice regarding burning of waste. Rochdale MOT Centre Ltd of Albion Road Industrial Estate, Rochdale, Lancashire and Director, Mr Nazar Hussain pleaded guilty to breaching Section 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and were ordered to pay fines of £1,500 and £3,000 respectively. Both defendants were ordered to pay the full costs of £15,609.14.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Sarah Taylor said:

“This case highlights the impact of HSE’s work, ensuring duty holders are held to account for their failings and taking the appropriate action to ensure workers safety. “All workers have the right to return home from work safe and healthy, both the company and director in this case placed employees at risk of harm by failing to address concerns raised by HSE inspectors.”

Phoenix comments:

This is a shocking case where a commercial company have failed to take reasonable action following an inspection by the HSE. Failure to have three two-post vehicle lifts examined and failure to provide suitable welfare facilities, such as hot or warm water in the toilets. A failure in the two post lifts could have resulted in fatalities to those working near the posts.

There have been over 7000 injuries and 33 deaths in the motor vehicle repair (MVR) industry over the last 5 years. Crushing incidents involving the movement or collapse of vehicles under repair result in serious injuries and deaths every year. There is also widespread potential for work-related ill health in the motor repair industry. Many of the substances used require careful storage, handling and control. Isocyanatecontaining paints have been the biggest cause of occupational asthma in the UK for many years and the motor repair industry is also in the top ten industries for cases of disabling dermatitis. Frequent and prolonged contact with used engine oil may cause dermatitis and other skin disorders, including skin cancer. Thus, a lack of welfare facilities may have led to long term occupational health conditions for their employees. This case shows the vital work the HSE are conducting to improve all workplaces to a safe and healthy standard.

Further information about ‘Health and safety in motor vehicle repair and associated industries’ is freely available to download from the HSE site:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/hsg261.pdf.