Health and safety company found guilty of failing to ensure factory workers were protected

Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001
Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001
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A specialist health and safety company has been found guilty of failing to ensure that workers at a furniture factory were protected.

Worksafe Training Consultancy denied two offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act but were on Thursday convicted by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court.

The company, based in St Andrew’s Street, Bury St Edmunds, is due to be sentenced next month.

During a four day trial, the court heard allegations from the Health and Safety Executive that Worksafe provided ‘bad advice’ to management at Jan Cavelle Furniture, in Haverhill. The prosecution was brought after two workers at the factory, in Rookwood Way, were injured.

Caine Heathcote and Stefan Puricel had been operating two woodworking machines, a biscuit jointer and an overhead router, when they were injured, said James Hodivala, prosecuting.

It was alleged that Worksafe exposed the two men to risk of serious injury when the incidents happened in 2014. The jury heard that Worksafe decided to sub contract to a consultant the provision of advice about how Jan Cavelle Furniture could comply with current health and safety requirements.

Managing director of Worksafe, Russell Fife, said he accepted that what was provided by the consultant to the furniture company had been ‘inadequate’ but denied that his company had been trying to ‘make easy money’.

Mr Fife said that his company was to be paid £1,500 by Jan Cavelle Furniture with about half that amount being paid to the consultant as his fee.

Mr Fife denied that it had been an opportunity to make easy money. He said: “We were going to profit from it but that is how businesses work.”