Smallford nursery received health and safety fine weeks before fire

PUBLISHED: 18:04 26 November 2012 | UPDATED: 09:37 27 November 2012

A piles of debris lies in the foreground as a man takes down some damaged structure as the cleanup after the smallford fire begins

A piles of debris lies in the foreground as a man takes down some damaged structure as the cleanup after the smallford fire begins

Archant

JUST weeks before a fire ravaged Glinwell Nursery in Smallford its operators were fined around £18,000 for failing to carry out adequate health and safety training and risk assessments.

The company pleaded guilty to two offences on October 26 relating to a piece of equipment called the Mega Bio Chopper, which is used to chop biodegradable crops such as tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers.

Glinwell had failed to give sufficient training to an employee using the machine and also failed to assess risks to the health and safety of staff using it.

They were fined £17,951.61 with £3,900.61 of that amount going to the Health and Safety Executive in costs.

The fire at the nursery began just after lunchtime on November 11 and caused a large black plume of smoke as wooden pallets and plastic trays burned.

Ten fire engines spent just over 10 hours extinguishing the fire and dampening down hot spots.

A Herts county council spokesperson said that at the moment the fire investigation team believed the fire was deliberate but further investigation was required.

Glinwell Nursery has still not responded to requests for comment.

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