On April 26 2007, a fire ripped through New Look’s flagship store in London. The damage was so severe that what parts of the building were left standing had to be pulled down.
The retailer was found guilty as none of its staff had of what to do – to the extent that they did not even inform the Fire & Rescue Service, this was left to a neighbouring organisation. By the time the rescue services arrived the fire was too well established. The trial of mistakes continued with investigators also finding that one of the evacuation routes used was right underneath the seat of the fire.
The court heard that New Look had failed to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. It was fined £250,000 for failing to supply a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment and £150,000 for failing to train staff adequately. In addition to the above it also had to pay £136,052 in costs.
The Health and Safety Executive announced yesterday, 19/01/2010 that hauliers in the UK are to be subject to spot checks conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in order to ensure they are complying with load safety regulations.
The Health and Safety Executive are concerned that too many haulage firms are placing both their goods and workers at risk by failing to properly secure their loads leading to the risk of serious accidents and damage when transporting and also when unloading.
A previous spot check campaign conducted in April 2009 found that loads were insufficiently restrained in 80 per cent of cases.
Peter Brown from HSE warned companies that there is “no excuse” for poor load safety and called for better standards for the sake of workers, other road users and the companies themselves.
He said: “Take those few extra minutes to secure your loads or at best you could face a fine or, at worst, risk death or injury to yourself or others.”
C&G Services provide training and specialist safety consultancy for road haulier and the transport industry throughout the UK including Dangerous Goods Safety Consultancy, risk assessments, method statements and health & safety policy development. Please contact Roger Hart or John Sennett of C&G Safety & Environmental Limited for more information.