Local Firm and Business Operator Fined for Placing Employees at Risk of Fire | Oxfordshire County Council
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Local Firm and Business Operator Fined for Placing Employees at Risk of Fire

Published 01 February 2016

A local firm and business operator has been prosecuted for failing to provide suitable fire safety arrangements for its employees at an industrial unit in Didcot.

Business World Globe Ltd and its director Mr Mohamed Osman were together ordered to pay just under £14000 after they allowed employees to work and sleep in dangerous factory conditions at Unit B High Street/Hitchcock Way Didcot OX11 7LW.

Fire Safety Inspectors from Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service issued a Prohibition Notice restricting use of the premises after an inspection found the dangerous practices and inadequate fire safety measures to ensure the safety of the workforce.

Mr Osman, the company Director, admitted seven charges for seven different offences at Oxford Magistrates Court on 1st February 2016. These included, failure to risk assess and take such general fire precautions as were reasonably required to ensure the premises were safe for employees. Failure to ensure that emergency exits were kept clear at all times, so it was possible for persons to evacuate the premises as quickly and as safely as possible.  Failure to provide an adequate fire alarm and detection system, or providing  employees with adequate safety training, all of which meant those present were placed at risk of death or serious injury if there were a fire.

The fines amounted to almost £9000, they were also ordered to pay costs totalling £5000, plus a victim surcharge of £126 and the Prohibition Notice remains in force.

The case was taken to court by Oxfordshire County Council on behalf of its Fire and Rescue Service.

Stuart Garner, Premises Risk and Protection Manager for Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which is enforced by the Fire Authority, places a requirement upon the responsible person, usually the building occupier, operator or owner, to firstly undertake a fire risk assessment and secondly act upon the outcomes of their significant findings.  It is important that businesses not only understand why such an assessment must be initially undertaken, but also by constantly reviewing and managing their premises, how they can then assist me in creating a safer Oxfordshire.

“By correctly managing their premises and not committing fire safety offences, business operators can avoid placing the occupants at risk of possible death or serious injury in the event of fire.  Thus, when the Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service do undertake a routine fire safety audit of the premises, it is unlikely that such offences will be discovered and any need for legal proceedings being instigated against the responsible person is eliminated”.

Councillor Rodney Rose, the Deputy Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, who also has Cabinet responsibility for Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The penalties imposed on this company show how seriously fire safety arrangements are viewed. It is just not acceptable to put people’s lives at risk and these prosecutions will hopefully act as a deterrent to others who think they can ignore what are essential safety measures.”

Mr Garner added that a suite of specific guidance documents to assist business operators is available free of charge via the Government’s GOV.UK website. Fire safety in the workplace - GOV.UK  or via the Chief Fire Officers Association website at http://www.cfoa.org.uk/19512

Further advice, is available  Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service who are happy  to support all local businesses with fire safety guidance.

 

365alive

The advice is part of Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service's 365alive  campaign, an initiative designed to make the county a safer place through a range of educational and preventative community work.

For further advice see 365alive

 

 

Business World Globe Ltd and its director Mr Mohamed Osman were together ordered to pay just under £14000 after they allowed employees to work and sleep in dangerous factory conditions at Unit B High Street/Hitchcock Way Didcot OX11 7LW.

 

Fire Safety Inspectors from Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service issued a Prohibition Notice restricting use of the premises after an inspection found the dangerous practices and inadequate fire safety measures to ensure the safety of the workforce.

 

Mr Osman, the company Director, admitted seven charges for seven different offences at Oxford Magistrates Court on 1st February 2016. These included, failure to risk assess and take such general fire precautions as were reasonably required to ensure the premises were safe for employees. Failure to ensure that emergency exits were kept clear at all times, so it was possible for persons to evacuate the premises as quickly and as safely as possible.  Failure to provide an adequate fire alarm and detection system, or providing  employees with adequate safety training, all of which meant those present were placed at risk of death or serious injury if there were a fire.

 

The fines amounted to almost £9000, they were also ordered to pay costs totalling £5000, plus a victim surcharge of £126 and the Prohibition Notice remains in force.

 

The case was taken to court by Oxfordshire County Council on behalf of its Fire and Rescue Service.

 

Stuart Garner, Premises Risk and Protection Manager for Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which is enforced by the Fire Authority, places a requirement upon the responsible person, usually the building occupier, operator or owner, to firstly undertake a fire risk assessment and secondly act upon the outcomes of their significant findings.  It is important that businesses not only understand why such an assessment must be initially undertaken, but also by constantly reviewing and managing their premises, how they can then assist me in creating a safer Oxfordshire.

 

“By correctly managing their premises and not committing fire safety offences, business operators can avoid placing the occupants at risk of possible death or serious injury in the event of fire.  Thus, when the Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service do undertake a routine fire safety audit of the premises, it is unlikely that such offences will be discovered and any need for legal proceedings being instigated against the responsible person is eliminated”.

 

 

Councillor Rodney Rose, the Deputy Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, who also has Cabinet responsibility for Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The penalties imposed on this company show how seriously fire safety arrangements are viewed. It is just not acceptable to put people’s lives at risk and these prosecutions will hopefully act as a deterrent to others who think they can ignore what are essential safety measures.”

 

Mr Garner added that a suite of specific guidance documents to assist business operators is available free of charge via the Government’s GOV.UK website. Fire safety in the workplace - GOV.UK  or via the Chief Fire Officers Association website at http://www.cfoa.org.uk/19512

 

Further advice, is available  Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service who are happy  to support all local businesses with fire safety guidance.

 

 

 

365alive

The advice is part of Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service's 365alive  campaign, an initiative designed to make the county a safer place through a range of educational and preventative community work.

For further advice see 365alive

 

 

 

 

 

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