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Tomahawk Hotels fined over health and safety breach

30 January 2009
Tomahawk Hotels fined over health and safety breach

Tomahawk Hotels has been fined a total of more than £20,000, after workers were sent to take down a flag pole from a fourth-storey roof without the correct safety equipment.

Tomahawk, which owns the Great Victoria in Bridge Street, Bradford, admitted breaches of health and safety regulations during a hearing before magistrates in Bradford.

Great Victoria maintenance manager John Partridge, 38, admitted similar offences.

The court heard that in June 2006 two hotel workers went up on to the roof of the Great Victoria without a correct risk assessment being made by Partridge who was in charge of them.

But unknown to the workers health and safety officers viewed the incident from their office window directly opposite the hotel roof and took photographs.

The photographs were shown to the court showing the two men leaning an unsupported ladder against the flagpole.

In mitigation it was said that Partridge had given a verbal risk assessment to the two men and that the roof itself at eight metres by three metres, with the flag pole in the centre, was not a dangerous spot.

Defence lawyer John Coen added: "The risk did not require the men to go towards the edge of the roof and there were only up there ten to 15 minutes."

The company was fined £15,000 with £7,000 costs. Mr Partridge was fined £1,800.

A spokeswoman for Tomahawk said: "As part of the well respected Tomahawk Hotel Group we take the welfare of our employees very seriously and we have learnt from this experience, which occurred two and a half years ago. We now have full training systems in place and we are fully compatible with all Health and Safety Regulations.

"The Great Victoria serves Bradford's top businesses and enjoys a good reputation with the citizens of the town. All our staff receive the relevant training to make sure our guests enjoy a comfortable stay at our hotel and as part of the training they are taught how to make sure that they and their guests stay safe and secure."

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By Andrew Smith

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