A failure to prove that he had compulsory insurance to protect his employees in case of an injury at work has cost a window cleaning firm boss hundreds of pounds in a fine and costs.
Darlington Magistrates’ Court was told on 27 February that Jason Mawson owned and operated window cleaning business We-aredale Cleaning. As an employer he was required to insure against liability for injury or disease sustained by his employees resulting from their work.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector invited him several times to voluntarily produce his insurance certificate on a number of occasions but he failed to do so. He also failed to respond to a formal notice to produce on 3 September 2013.
Mr Mawson, of Crook, Co Durham, was fined £100 and ordered to pay £755.05 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Victoria Wise said: “During 2012-13 148 workers were killed at work, two in the North East, and thousands more were seriously injured or suffered ill-health through the work they did for their employer.
“As well as being a legal requirement, employers’ liability compulsory insurance offers important protection for employers and employees alike. Without it, if a worker becomes ill or is injured at work, they will not be able to claim compensation from the employer. For employers, insurance covers the cost of legal fees and compensation payouts in the event of a claim by a worker.
“Mr Mawson failed to produce a certificate of insurance and that in itself is a criminal offence. The failure of employers to insure is seen as a serious matter and HSE will continue to take legal action where appropriate.”
Whatever the size of a business, an employer is legally required to protect the health, safety and welfare of employees and any other people who might be affected by their activities, by assessing risks of injury or damage to health that could occur in the workplace and taking steps to manage and control these.
With workplace incidents having potentially far-reaching consequences for both businesses and individuals, we also provide expert legal advice and representation at health and safety-related interviews and prosecutions
For more information on our health and safety compliance services, please contact Lara Murray and for health and safety representation, please contact Jeremy Sirrell.