South East Wales

MDS Recycling handed largest ever fire safety fine of £45k

Waste Image copyright SWFRS
Image caption One fire exit was found to be blocked, while another had LPG cylinders and combustibles stored by it

The largest ever fine handed to a Welsh company for flouting fire safety regulations has been given to a Torfaen recycling firm.

Cwmbran-based MDS Recycling was ordered to pay £45,000 plus £3,207 costs at Cwmbran Magistrates' Court.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service brought the case after a visit by safety officers in July 2014.

The company faced nine charges, with prosecutors saying staff were at risk of death if a fire started.

An MDS Recycling spokesman said the firm regretted what happened and it currently complies with all regulations.

The company was visited at its Avondale Industrial Estate base as part of a risk-based inspection programme.

The court was told one fire exit was completely blocked by stacked recycled material, and the only other one available had LPG cylinders and combustibles stored by it.

Other offences included storing waste materials and LPG Cylinders inappropriately at the site.

It was also found the site was not fitted with an appropriate working fire alarm system or any emergency lighting.

The maximum fine of £5,000 was imposed for each offence.

Image copyright SWFRS
Image caption One fire exit door was completely obstructed by bales of recycled materials which resulted in it becoming unusable
Image copyright SWFRS
Image caption The route from the main office, past combustible materials, could have left staff trapped if a fire broke out

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