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Box manufacturer sheds almost £300k for deficient electrics and machine guarding and storage

Kent-based box manufacturer W E Roberts (Corrugated) has pleaded guilty to breaching three regulations after a former employee raised concerns at the company’s Northfleet premises.

Box manufacturer sheds almost £300k for deficient electrics and machine guarding and storage
Image credit: ©HSE/Robert Hassell. Open cabinet doors exposing unprotected three-phase electrical conductors

Maidstone Crown Court heard on 30 January that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had acted on a tip-off from an ex-employee and had visited the premises where electrical safety measures, machinery guarding and materials storage were found to be well below the expected standards.

HSE inspector Robert Hassell issued 14 improvement and prohibition notices, which were all complied with. He then made a follow-up visit the following week accompanied by an HSE electrical specialist to deal with all of the electrical issues and to get a second opinion on the poor electrical standards.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998; regulation 4(2) of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989; and regulation 5(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. W E Roberts (Corrugated) was fined £297,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,180.

Nick Warburton is deputy editor of IOSH Magazine 

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