One of the UK’s largest builders merchants has been fined £14,000 after supplying helmets in Northampton which did not meet the required safety standard.
Jewson Limited, based in Coventry, was taken to court after an investigation by Northamptonshire County Council’s Trading Standards service revealed the company was selling industrial safety helmets which failed health and safety shock absorption tests.
In January 2012 trading standards officers arranged for safety hats to be tested against the requirements of the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002 as part of a proactive survey.
This included a Jewson safety helmet purchased from the Jewson premise in Pilot Road, Corby.
When tested the helmet did not comply with the shock absorption test, a further six helmets were purchased from Jewsons at St James Mill Road, Northampton and three of these also failed the same test.
Jewson Limited were informed of the results and advised that they had withdrawn the product from sale. However a further helmet was purchased from their Northampton branch when the sales assistant overrode the withdrawn from sale notification on the till.
This helmet was also tested and found to fail the shock absorption test.
The helmets had been imported from China by Jewson and the company was able to produce a test certificate from 2001 despite selling over 63,000 of them over an 11 year period.
Councillor Andre Gonzalez de Savage, county council cabinet member for strategic infrastructure, economic growth and public protection said: “I’m pleased that Trading Standards have investigated and prosecuted this case. It is impossible for users to detect this kind of issue for themselves and therefore it is vital that our officers proactively monitor the safety of products on sale. All manufacturers and importers need to carry out regular testing to ensure their products meet safety standards.
“We are always willing to work with our county businesses to ensure that they are fully compliant with applicable regulations and safety codes. We firmly believe in being proactive and supporting our communities”
Magistrates fined the Coventry-based business £2,500 on each of four offences and £4,000 for the latter offence. Costs of £7,500 were awarded to trading standards.