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Waste disposal firm owner jailed for major safety failings

24 August 2017

Action by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has resulted in a significant fine for Crofty Point Metals and a jail sentence for the company owner.

During the trial at Swansea Crown Court, it was heard that the activities of Robert Collis and his company came to the attention of the HSE after a major blaze on the Crofty Industrial Estate in July 2013 resulted in five fire engines attending the incident, according to the WalesOnline website.

The subsequent investigation found a series of safety failings at the company's premises, including insecure storage of gas cylinders and lack of fencing, which meant the site was open to the public.

Repeated visits and enforcement notices over the following three years saw no changes made.

The court was also told that Mr Collis adopted an aggressive attitude toward HSE staff, requiring a police officer to accompany them.

Although no injuries were reported at the site, the HSE made the decision to make a "preventative prosecution" because the problems were so serious.

It was further stated that Mr Collis had run the waste transfer and sorting business without permits.

He had pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work, etc, Act at a previous hearing brought by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), but the court was told that the business continued to be run illegally.

Mr Collis was sentenced to eight months in prison for the offences identified by the HSE and four months for those identified by the NRW, with both sentences running consecutively for a total of 12 months.

Crofty Point Metals, of Penclawdd, Swansea, was fined £35,000 with £10,000 costs.

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