You could go to jail if you don’t obey health and safety instructions

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Health and safety bosses have warned businesses that failing to obey instructions could land directors in jail.

On May 22, the Manx Independent exclusively reported a court case involving Ross Ward, trading as A1 Fire Protection.

He received a 10-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, and a £1,000 fine for breaching a prohibition health and safety notice.

Richard Ronan MHK, member of the Department of Infrastructure with responsibility for the Health and Safety at Work Inspectorate, said the prosecution was further evidence of the effective joint working between government agencies.

He added that maintaining the appropriate standards of public safety was of paramount importance, and urged businesses to be aware of their responsibilities under health and safety legislation.

The recent prosecution followed collaborative working between the Health and Safety at Work Inspectorate, Office of Fair Trading and the fire service.

Ward, of Quine’s Corner, Douglas, had been issued with a prohibition notice in December 2013 preventing him from servicing fire extinguishers until he could demonstrate his competence to carry out such work.

Officers identified that despite the notice being in force, Mr Ward attended a children’s nursery in Douglas on February 6 and undertook servicing work on the fire extinguishers.

Ward’s visit was identified by the appropriate agencies within 24 hours of it taking place.

The nursery was supplied with replacement fire extinguishers, serviced to the required standard, while its own were removed and examined for any inappropriate maintenance issues that could have led to potential safety problems.

Mr Ronan said: ‘This prosecution will serve as a clear warning to businesses not to ignore enforcement notices issued by the Health and Safety at Work Inspectorate in the interests of ensuring appropriate standards of public safety.’

Businesses have also been encouraged to ensure that the companies they employ to maintain their fire extinguishers are able to carry out the work to the required standard.

A list of on-island companies that demonstrated their competence to the Health and Safety at Work Inspectorate during an initiative held in 2013 can be found on the inspectorate’s website click here or by calling 685881.

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