A Derbyshire firm was fined £30,000 + £12,348 costs for breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
The company regularly sent workers into a 5.5m deep pit and although they had not had an accident relating to these entries, they were found guilty of failing to protect their workforce.
The court heard that the company did not provide confined space training, an adequate safe system of work that was adhered to, or properly maintain their confined space safety equipment, despite an earlier Improvement Notice issued by the HSE.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Scott Wynne said:
"It was unacceptable of the company to put staff at risk in this way, especially when bearing in mind the previous enforcement action taken by the HSE on precisely the same issue just three years earlier. The company had a duty to make sure its written procedures were being followed, but it failed in that duty. It is extremely fortunate that no serious incidents have occurred in relation to this work."
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