In a rare prosecution for the offence, Jason Mawson, 44, owner of We-aredale Cleaning, was fined £100 and ordered to pay £755 costs after admitting failing to insure his workers against claims for sickness or injury.
The hearing at Darlington Magistrates Court, heard a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector demanded to see Mawson’s certificate of employer liability insurance several times.
The requests were ignored by Mawson and failed to provide the certificate in response to a formal notice issued by the HSE.
After the hearing, HSE Inspector Victoria Wise said: “last year, 148 workers were killed at work and thousands more were seriously injured or suffered ill-health through the work they did for their employer.
“As well as being a legal requirement, Employers’ Liability Compulsory Insurance offers important protection for employers and employees alike.
“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 pay outs in the event of a claim by a worker.
“Mawson failed to produce a certificate of insurance and that in itself is a criminal offence. The failure of employers to insure is seen as a serious matter and HSE will continue to take legal action where appropriate.”
All employers have a legal obligation to provide employer liability insurance if they have full or part time workers.
Failing to display the certificate in the workplace or failing to produce the certificate to the Health and Safety Executive is an offence.
However, prosecutions are rare and this is believed to be the first case for some years.
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