Dundee holiday resort fined for health and safety failings

A holiday resort near Dundee has been fined a total of £120,000 after a number of health and safety failings were discovered by investigators from Angus Council. It is believed that these failings led to the death of a guest in 2008.

The Piperdam Leisure Complex was investigated after 60-year-old Edward Warnes stayed there for a week in March 2008 and died of Legionnaires’ disease a month later. His partner also fell ill following the visit.

Health inspectors found that the disease had been caused by legionella bacteria on shower heads and in hot tubs at the resort. Mr Warnes had contracted the disease by inhaling the infected water droplets, presumably whilst bathing.

At Forfar Sheriff Court, the Piperdam Leisure Complex was found to be liable for Mr Warnes death due to neglecting its health and safety responsibilities. A fine of £120,000 was issued.

Elaine Taylor, who is the head of the Crown Office’s health and safety division, commented on the case. She said:

“Mr Warnes’ death was entirely avoidable and had Piperdam met its statutory health and safety obligations he would be alive today.”

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) offers advice for businesses on how to prevent Legionnaires’ disease, but the most effective way to prevent illness in the workplace is to take an appropriate health and safety training course.