23 October 2013

Builders’ merchants Jewson Limited has been fined £14,000 at Northampton Magistrates Court this week (MON 21 OCT) for supplying hard hats that failed to meet the relevant safety standards following an investigation by Northamptonshire County Council’s trading standards service.

Safety tests

In January 2012 trading standards officers arranged for safety hats to be tested against the requirements of the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002 as part of a proactive survey. This included a Jewson Safety Helmet purchased from the Jewson premise in Pilot Road, Corby. When tested the helmet did not comply with the shock absorption test in EN 397. A further six helmets were purchased from Jewsons at St James Mill Road, Northampton and three of these also failed the same test.

The helmets stated “complies with : EN397” and had been imported from China by the company. Jewson were only able to produce a test certificate from 2001 despite selling over 63,000 of them over an 11 year period.

Councillor Andre Gonzalez de Savage, county council cabinet member for strategic infrastructure, economic growth and public protection said: “I’m pleased that Trading Standards have investigated and prosecuted this case. It is impossible for users to detect this kind of issue for themselves and therefore it is vital that our officers proactively monitor the safety of products on sale. All manufacturers and importers need to carry out regular testing to ensure their products meet safety standards.

"We are always willing to work with our county businesses to ensure that they are fully compliant with applicable regulations and safety codes. We firmly believe in being proactive and supporting our communities."

Outcome of the prosecution

Magistrates fined the Coventry-based business £2,500 on each of four offences and £4,000 for the latter offence. Costs of £7,500 were awarded to trading standards.

Anyone with concerns about the safety of products can inform Trading Standards by contacting the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 040506.