JMS Retail Concepts Ltd pleaded guilty to the health & safety charges. The owner of the store, which initially contested the charges, was fined £600,000.
Shop owner Martin McColl Ltd and contractor JMS Retail Concepts were in court last month after two members of the public tripped and fell over construction work outside a convenience store in Dinas Powys, Vale of Glamorgan.
Cardiff Magistrates’ Court heard that during the three-day construction of a concrete disabled ramp in January 2016, two members of the public were injured while attempting to enter the store. On 12th January an elderly member of the public tripped over the construction work, broke her wrist, hit her head and suffered severe bruising. On the following day another elderly shopper fell from the partially constructed ramp, breaking his collar bone and suffering severe bruising.
An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that customers were expected to walk through what was effectively a construction site to enter and exit the store. It would have been reasonably practicable to close the store during the construction of the ramp and install barriers and signs to prevent access by members of the public.
Martin McColl Ltd of Ashwells Road, Brentwood, Essex pleaded guilty on the first day of a two-day trial after initially pleading not guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It was fined £600,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,520.
JMS Retail Concepts Ltd of Stump Lane, Chorley, Lancashire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It was been fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,038.
HSE inspector Gemma Pavey said after the hearing: “These incidents could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices. Commercial clients and companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”