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Wood Recycling Firm Faces £70k Fine

UK Wood Recycling are currently facing a fine of over £70,000 plus costs after a major fire broke out at the premises. Between April and September 2013 they significantly exceeded the safe sizes of their wood stacks putting business interests before safety.

The Cleveland Fire Brigade had been concerned about the site for several years. This was due to the amounts of wood in storage there. In 2013, the company’s main wood stack caught fire and burned for 16 days. This cost the Cleveland Fire Brigade £235,000 to deal with. The firm continued to ignore the regulations despite the serious fire, leaving inspecting officers “in shock”.

They pleaded guilty at court to keeping controlled waste in a manner likely to cause pollution to the environment or harm to human health. However, Richard Matthews (of the defence team), told the court the reason for the large amounts of wood was to meet contractual demands.

UK Wood Recycling also admitted to illegally depositing over 8,200 tonnes of wood waste on a site they were leasing. The judge fined them £72,000 for both offences and they were ordered to pay £71,000 in costs.

Tristan Drought, of the environment agency said: “During this investigation, the company was repeatedly given opportunities to comply with regulatory guidance. However, they chose to ignore the advice of the local fire brigade. Instead they continued building up large volumes of wood and putting profit before human health and the environment.”

Assured Can Help

Does your business require a new or updated fire risk assessment to ensure you don’t fall foul of the law? Assured can help you, give us a call on 0845 402 3045. Alternatively, click here for more information on fire risk assessments.

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