A NORTH Yorkshire company that manufactures safety equipment faces a £10,000 court bill for not ensuring the safety of its own employees.

While on a routine visit to Lambert Engineering in Tadcaster in May 2009, Health and Safety Executive inspector Geoff Fletcher found protective guards on machines had been removed, disabled or altered by employees.

The executive decided the company, which employs 115 people, had been following dangerous practices for about ten years.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety regulations.

Selby magistrates fined it £6,000 and ordered it to pay £4,198 in costs.

Mr Fletcher said afterwards: “It is more by luck and certainly not by good management that an injury did not occur at the plant. This is a company offering bespoke machines which themselves offer top-quality safety devices. I trust they will endeavour in future to focus equally on ensuring their own safety guards are used as the manufacturers intended and in line with legal requirements.”"