£1 million fine imposed on Hot Tub store after 2012 Legionnaires’ disease outbreak

A Discount Warehouse store has been fined £1m for their failings in 2012, where a Legionnaires' disease outbreak was caused by a display hot tub in the store, where 21 people were infected with Legionella bacteria, two of whom died.

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A Discount Warehouse store has been fined £1m for their failings in 2012, where a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak was caused by a display hot tub in the store, where 21 people were infected with Legionella bacteria, two of whom died.

In the case heard at Stafford Crown Court, the judge said “This was a serious breach of a high duty of care which put many people, and not just those who contracted the disease, at risk of death or serious illness for a period of around five months. The risk arose despite some efforts, albeit inadequate ones, having been made to safeguard against it.”

The unsettling part about this case is that in this day and age, there are still organisations who either do not know their Compliance duties, undertake them inadequately or choose to ignore them.  Although a substantial fine was imposed in this case, there are still many organisations putting their staff, visitors and the public at risk everyday.

As a business owner, if you’re unsure what your duties are under legislation and HSE guidance, call us on 0333 207 5744. We’re happy to help.

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