The owner of a Ferndale clothing company has been prosecuted after pleading guilty to 10 offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Mr William Cuthbert, trading as B C T-shirts at Oakland Business Park, was fined a total of £15,000 and ordered to pay £32,311.47 in costs to the Fire Authority at Cardiff Crown Court on 16th June 2017.
Business Fire Safety Officers at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service visited Mr Cuthbert’s premises after being contacted by the Health and Safety Executive. In July 2015, a prohibition notice was immediately served on the premises as conditions encountered posed a serious risk of fire.
The officers discovered a number of fire safety failings that would have placed Mr Cuthbert and staff at risk of death or serious injury, if a fire had started. Escape routes and exits were obstructed by piles of stock, live electrical cables were hanging from the ceiling and the business’s fire extinguishers had not been subject to a suitable system of maintenance for a considerable amount of time. Mr Cuthbert, as the responsible person for the premises, had also failed to make a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment; something which is a legal requirement.
Welcoming the judge’s sentence, Christian Hadfield, Head of Business Fire Safety for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said, “There is no satisfaction in seeing Mr Cuthbert punished for his failure to make these premises safe but I am glad that as a result of our actions, an incident was prevented.
“South Wales Fire & Rescue Service works closely with businesses to ensure they comply with the regulations in place and we are available to offer practical advice and assistance.
“I would urge business owners across south Wales to contact us if they require advice on how to comply with fire safety legislation and consequently, reduce the risk to our communities.
“Members of the public can also report concerns about buildings they have visited in the South Wales area by calling us or through a form on our website.”
Information relating to requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 is available on the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service website www.southwales-fire.gov.uk or businesses can contact the Business Fire Safety Department on 01443 232523.
Tel: 01443 232000 Fax: 01443 232165
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