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Laundry Firm Face Fine after Neglecting Safety

A laundry firm based in Battersea has been fined by The HSE after repeatedly failing to adhere to safety requirements.


A laundry firm based in Battersea has been fined after continuously failing to adhere to safety requirements. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) served the Niva UK (Ltd), which trades as Sunbeam Laundry, two Improvement Notices after routine inspections flagged up major concerns.

The Improvement Notices were issued on May 6th 2010 when an HSE inspector visited the site in London. The first required the removal of laundry bags and other items from walkways, stairways, and the toilet entrance. In addition to this, the second improvement notice stated that an urgent review was required in order improve the lifting and handling of laundry. Both these concerns were highlighted in order to reduce the risk of serious work injuries, such as trips and falls. However, when The HSE returned to the establishment, the laundry firm had taken no action to address either improvement notices.

As a result, the City of London Magistrates’ Court heard the company plead guilty to two separate breaches of Section 33 (1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. Niva UK (Ltd) were subsequently fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £5,062 in costs.
HSE Inspector Clare Hawkes was pleased with the result and said:

"The law requires employers to provide walkways that are clear of obstructions so employees can move around freely and safely without risking injury from trips and falls.

“HSE will continue to take action against companies who shirk their responsibilities in this way. Employers who do not comply with enforcement notices are very likely to find themselves in Court, as was shown today.”

The ruling serves as a warning to many employers who continue to neglect health and safety. Helen Grieves of Huddersfield-based Grieves Solicitors recognises the value of regular safety checks, and why they are necessary for preventing accidents at work. Commenting on the matter, she said:

“As personal injury solicitors, we see many incidents that could have been prevented through simple safety measures. Employers need to understand that their actions have a direct effect on their employees and those who turn a blind eye to safety requirements are putting their staff at serious risk.”

“By choosing to ignore two Improvement Notices, Niva UK (Ltd) are a good example of the consequences negligent employers face.”

Based in Huddersfield, Grieves Solicitors specialise in work accident compensation claims. Helen Grieves is a qualified solicitor with an Advanced Professional Diploma in Personal Injury Litigation from Leeds Metropolitan University and a Master Degree in Advanced Litigation from Nottingham Trent University. For more information, visit their website:


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