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Wed May 22 2024

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Hire firm fined for unsafe equipment

16 May 12 A Swindon-based plant hirer has been fined for continuing unsafe working practices and ignoring safety warnings from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Chippenham Magistrates Court heard that the HSE served four Improvement Notices on Rapid Hire (Swindon) on 12 October 2011 for failing to provide adequate training for operators on a range of machines, including telehandlers and forklifts, and for failing to provide proper inspections for equipment that was available for hire.

The purpose of the notices was to protect employees and customers from potential injury. Yet when a HSE inspector returned to the company three months later to check compliance, he discovered that dangerous practices were continuing and three of the Notices had been ignored.

Rapid Hire was found guilty of three separate breaches of Section 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for failing to comply with the notices. The company was fined a total of £800 and ordered to pay £1,215.95 in costs.

Speaking after the prosecution, HSE inspector Ian Whittles said: "Rapid Hire blatantly ignored warnings and the Improvement Notices served to them, neglecting its duty of care to its employees and customers.

"Even though there were no reported incidents, serious safety breaches continued and these could easily have resulted in serious injury."

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