11 June 2015
A Welsh recycling firm has been handed the largest fine ever recorded in Wales for breaching fire safety laws.
MDS Recycling faced nine separate charges, receiving the maximum fine for each, totalling £45,000 plus an additional £3,207 in costs.
South Wales Fire and Rescue uncovered the string of safety failings during an inspection in July 2014.
The offences cited in court included blocked fire exits, one completely blocked and another obstructed by cylinders and combustibles and storing waste materials inappropriately.
The premised was also found to have no working fire alarm or emergency lighting, and investigators also uncovered that no fire risk assessment had taken place.
According to the prosecution, the seriousness of the fire safety contraventions would have placed one or more persons at risk of death or serious injury should a fire have started.
Gary Johnson, Head of Business Fire Safety for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS), said: “There is no satisfaction in seeing MDS Recycling Ltd punished for their failure to make these premises safe, but I am glad that as a result of our actions the tragedy of what could so easily have been multiple fire deaths was prevented.
“With increasing regularity fire and rescue services across the country are called to fight fires in waste management centres – this clearly demonstrates the level of risk that exists in these types of premises.”