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Hotelier fined £30,000 for health and safety offences

04 July 2018

DIRECTORS OF Bremwell Limited, who operate the Rose and Crown Hotel in East Street, Colchester, were fined £30,000 for health and safety offences by district judge Woollard at Colchester Magistrates Court.

The directors were also ordered to pay costs of £6551.12 costs and a victim surcharge of £125 by the district judge after previously pleading guilty to five health and safety offences at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on 14 March 2018.

On 30 January 2017, a guest was using an iron provided by the hotel when they received an electric shock caused by a damaged electrical cable. Health and Safety Officers from Colchester Borough Council visited the Rose and Crown to investigate the accident and found a number of other health and safety issues.

Risk assessments were found to be inadequate as no hazardous substances assessments had been carried out. No formal attempt had been made to manage or control the risk of Legionella in the building's water systems.

The lift which took passengers between floors had never been inspected, though according to regulations it should have been inspected every six months. There was also asbestos within the building's structure, but this had not been properly identified or managed.

In the light of these issues, the Council brought a prosecution and the operating company, Bremwell Ltd, pleaded guilty to the following offences at Chelmsford Magistrates Court back in March:

  • Section 3, Health and Safety at Work etc Act (HASWA) 1974, regarding the electric shock to a hotel guest from a faulty iron

  • Regulation 4, Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 – failure to identify and manage asbestos containing materials

  • Regulation 9, Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 – failure to  have conducted statutory examination of a passenger lift

  • Regulation 6, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002 – failure to assess the risk to health from legionella bacteria and hazardous cleaning chemicals

  • Section 3, Health and Safety at Work etc Act (HASWA) 1974, regarding the failure to control the risk of Legionella in the hot and cold water system at the hotel and potential exposure of hotel guests to the bacteria.

Since the original investigations took place, Bremwell Ltd has worked with the Council and resolved all of the Health and Safety issues found.

Councillor Tina Bourne, portfolio holder for housing and communities, said“Health and safety regulations are incredibly important and businesses and employers have a responsibility to protect their staff and customers' safety and welfare whilst they're on the premises.

“Colchester Borough Council is always happy to advise and work with business to ensure they comply with Health and Safety regulations but where businesses fail to meet these requirements, the Council will take the necessary enforcement and legal action, which this case demonstrates.”