Builders’ merchants Jewson Limited has been fined £14,000 this week for selling hard hats which failed to meet safety standards.
Jewson Limited appeared at Northampton Magistrates Court on Monday after an investigation by Northamptonshire County Council.
The hard hats failed a test against Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002 by trading standards officers in a proactive survey in January, 2012.
This included a Jewson Safety Helmet purchased from the Jewson premise in Pilot Road, Corby which did not comply with the shock absorption test in EN 397.
A further six helmets were purchased from Jewsons at St James Mill Road, Northampton and three of these also failed the same test.
Jewson Limited were informed of the results and advised that they had withdrawn the product from sale but another helmet was purchased from their Northampton branch when a sales assistant overrode the withdrawn from sale notification on the till.
This helmet was also tested and found to pass the shock absorption test.
The helmets stated “complies with : EN397” and had been imported from China by the company.
Jewson were only able to produce a test certificate from 2001 despite selling over 63,000 of them over an 11 year period.
Councillor Andre Gonzalez de Savage, county council cabinet member for strategic infrastructure, economic growth and public protection said: “I’m pleased that Trading Standards have investigated and prosecuted this case.
"It is impossible for users to detect this kind of issue for themselves and therefore it is vital that our officers proactively monitor the safety of products on sale.
"All manufacturers and importers need to carry out regular testing to ensure their products meet safety standards.
"We are always willing to work with our county businesses to ensure that they are fully compliant with applicable regulations and safety codes. We firmly believe in being proactive and supporting our communities"
Magistrates fined the Coventry-based business £2,500 on each of four offences and £4,000 for the latter offence. Costs of £7,500 were awarded to trading standards.
Anyone with concerns about the safety of products can inform Trading Standards by contacting the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 040506.