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Popular Essex garden centre fined £100,000 for Health & Safety breaches

24 Sep Popular Essex garden centre fined £100,000 for Health & Safety breaches

A popular garden centre that failed to undertake adequate checks to protect staff from hazardous chemicals has been fined over £100,000 following a successful prosecution by Colchester Borough Council.

Perrywood Garden Centre and Nurseries Ltd, near Tiptree, admitted to three safety offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act, when a member of staff developed breathing difficulties after clearing up spilt garden chemical in April 2017.

The incident was investigated, after the worker complained to environmental health officers in September 2017.

Basildon Magistrates Court was told Perrywood had a health and safety policy and arrangements in place, but these had not been reviewed nor updated to reflect the changes in the directorship of the company.

Magistrates heard how the company had not implemented the safety management system described in its own policy manual. Even though annual audits were conducted by a health and safety consultancy, Perrywood management had failed to implement the recommendations of its most recent report, dated January 2017. This included a requirement to undertake COSHH assessments for chemical products on sale as well as additional risk assessments.

Two of the company directors, Mr Alan Bourne and Mr Simon Bourne, attended court.