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Jason Mawson, the boss of a County Durham window cleaning company, has been fined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) over compensation insurance failings.
Darlington Magistrates' Court was told that Mr Dawson operated a window cleaning company that traded as We-aredale Cleaning and offered local residents their services on a door-to-door basis.
Part of his role as an employer required him to hold insurance against injury or disease liability.
This would enable his workers to claim compensation for any industrial accident that took place, but his failure to have cover in place left his workers at risk.
An inspector from the HSE asked Mr Mawson to produce his insurance certificate a number of times, but he repeatedly failed to do so, even when presented with a formal notice in September 2013.
For failing to have adequate compensation cover in place, Mr Mawson was fined £100 and told to pay £755 in costs after he pleaded guilty to breaching the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969.
This statute dictates that employers must, at all times, have a relevant insurance policy in place to allow staff to claim redress in the event of an accident.
"As well as being a legal requirement, Employers' Liability Compulsory Insurance offers important protection for employers and employees alike," HSE inspector Victoria Wise said.
"Without it, if a worker becomes ill or is injured at work, they will not be able to claim compensation from the employer. For employers, insurance covers the cost of legal fees and compensation payouts in the event of a claim by a worker."
In 2013-14 some 148 workers in the UK died as a result of injuries at work and thousands more suffered industrial diseases caused by issues their employer was liable for.
But despite this, many small businesses neglect their obligation to arrange Employers' Liability Compulsory Insurance, leaving workers out of pocket and at risk of financial insolvency.
By Francesca Witney
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