Firm fined £30k for safety breaches
A LEISURE company has been fined £30,000 for failing to safely maintain electrical systems at a Suffolk holiday park. Cinque Ports Leisure Limited pleaded guilty to five health and safety charges before magistrates in Ipswich yesterday relating to the Suffolk Sands Holiday Park in Felixstowe.
By Danielle Nuttall
A LEISURE company has been fined £30,000 for failing to safely maintain electrical systems at a Suffolk holiday park.
Cinque Ports Leisure Limited pleaded guilty to five health and safety charges before magistrates in Ipswich yesterday relating to the Suffolk Sands Holiday Park in Felixstowe.
The case followed an anonymous tip-off to Suffolk Coastal District Council's food and safety team last summer about the state of some of the electrical hook-up points for touring caravans and tents at the site.
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A subsequent inspection revealed “inadequate and unsafe” repairs had been attempted - using sticky tape in some cases - leaving electrical conductors exposed.
The same company was fined £50,000 after a 20-year-old electrical contractor, Mark Lilley, was killed after being electrocuted at its premises in St Osyth, Essex, in 1999.
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Cinque Ports Leisure Ltd, which operates a chain of 20 holiday villages in Dorset, Devon, Hampshire, Sussex, Kent, Essex and Suffolk, was fined £30,000 by magistrates yesterday. The offences came under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.
Speaking after the case, Sherrie Green, cabinet member for community well-being for Suffolk Coastal District Council, said: “There was clearly a large gap between where the company should be on health and safety grounds and the reality that our inspection revealed.
“It is particularly worrying when this same company had previously been fined £50,000 after a 20-year-old electrical contractor was killed as a result of electric shock at its premises in St Osyth, Essex in 1999.
“Thankfully, our action helped prevented any similar tragedy occurring this time, but I can only hope that this case will prompt all companies to review their safety procedures because the cost of bodged repairs or turning a blind eye can be enormous, either financially or in terms of physical harm.”
The council's inspection report revealed electrical hook-up systems at the Suffolk site were not protected against damage caused by vehicles reversing and that there was an inadequate procedure to ensure electrics were properly maintained.
“Our inspection revealed that inadequate and unsafe repairs had been attempted with sticky tape in some cases and also examples where there were holes in the box casings,” added Cllr Green.
“We immediately served prohibition notices to stop any further use of those boxes, and an improvement notice demanding that the necessary works be carried out to make them safe again.
“I am pleased that the court recognised the seriousness of this offence as there was a real risk to both holidaymakers and the people who worked there.”
No-one from the Suffolk Sands Holiday Park or Cinque Ports Leisure Ltd was available for comment last night.
The council said electrical systems at the Suffolk holiday park were brought back to the correct standard following its inspection of the site.
Anyone wanting to report a safety issue to Suffolk Coastal can call 01394 444357 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.