In July of last year, inspectors from The Health and Safety Executive received an alert from an Environmental Health Officer at Bedford Borough Council. When they visited the premises of the dry cleaning chain, they were horrified to discover that the gas-fired steam boiler presented a risk to those who worked there.
The boiler was found to be severely corroded and several burners were not working correctly. The flue was cracked and damaged, and inspectors concluded that both workers and customers were at a high risk of being exposed to carbon monoxide fumes, which can be fatal in high doses.
It was also found that the company had no system in place that would ensure the regular maintenance and inspection of the boiler. Health and safety training highlights the need for thorough risk assessments, along with the implementation and maintenance of safety control procedures, both absent from these dry cleaners.
The company was prosecuted and fined six thousand pounds. It was also ordered to pay in excess of one thousand pounds in court costs. It would have been more cost-effective and safer to ensure the good working order of the boiler in the first place…