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    Director took risk in desperate bid to complete job for customer

    It has been reported by the Derby Telegraph that the managing director of a Derbyshire firm was caught using an compressed air receiver just two hours after it had become subject to a Prohibition Notice issued by an HSE Inspector.

    Matthew Holmes used the compressed air receiver for the process of blasting refurbished skips at his company WFP Fabrications in Stanton-by-Dale.

    Southern Derbyshire Magistrates heard from HSE Inspector Stuart Parry that he found 17 breaches of regulations during a first visit to premises in August 2015.

    He returned two-months later and found the air receiver in use although Mr Holmes and his staff “did not know the maximum allowable pressure” for the receiver.

    Mr Parry issued a prohibition notice on the machine. However, when he returned two hours later he found Holmes operating the condemned machine.

    Health and safety is not an optional extra

    Judge Jonathan Taaffe Holmes said in sentencing Mr Holmes to a 30-week prison term:

    “You showed total disregard for your own safety and the safety of others. It beggars belief that a prohibition notice can be served on someone in a senior position and, only two hours later, that same person is caught operating the machinery.

    It shows flagrant disregard for the HSE and, in both matters, there was a systematic failure. This is a serious offence. Why is it a serious offence? Because health and safety is not an optional extra and a well-run, properly maintained business puts health and safety at the forefront.”

    In addition to the suspended jail term the company was fined £25,000 and both Holmes and the company were ordered to pay £1,642.50 each in prosecution costs.

    Andrew Brammer, mitigating, said his client had remedied his failures at WFP Fabrications since the HSE visits adding:

    “In the cold light of day and with the benefit of hindsight he should not have done what he did. But he was desperate to get the job finished for a customer.”


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