Man ‘reckless’ over health

Health concerns: Some of the conditions uncovered by inspectors
Health concerns: Some of the conditions uncovered by inspectors
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The owner of a Blackpool body piercing clinic has been ordered to carry out 160 hours’ community service after being prosecuted for health and safety offences.

James Woods, 48, of Park Road, Blackpool, was sentenced at Preston Crown Court after he admitted five offences at a previous hearing in October.

Health chiefs had urged clients of the Blackpool Body Piercing Clinic, in Springfield Road, to get in touch with their doctors after concerns were raised in October 2013.

Inspectors who visited the premises found there was no electricity, which meant equipment could not be sterilised.

But Mr Woods was adamant he had not put any of his clients’ health at risk, and said he had been sterilising his equipment before he went to work, while other equipment was disposable.

Following the sentencing, Tim Coglan, Blackpool Council’s head of public protection, said: “James Woods committed a range of health and safety failings, and it is therefore right that he was brought before the courts as a result.

“The fact he has continually contested whether there was a risk, both in the media and the court, betrays a lack of understanding of the issue at hand and is a serious cause for concern.

“The anxiety that people must have felt having to go for blood tests for Hepatitis B and C and HIV is very real and very serious, and it is fortunate there was no infection.

“Experienced officers at Blackpool Council and Public Health England were very concerned by the level of risk and recklessness in this case, and I sincerely hope a lesson has been learnt.

“If anyone requires advice about piercing, I would urge people to contact us on (01253) 478375.”

In October, Woods admitted offences relating to his electricity supply, failing to ensure waste materials were in suitable receptacles, failing to ensure the workplace was organised to allow people to circulate, failing to provide suitable washing facilities, and failing to ensure the surface of every traffic route was kept free from obstructions.

Charges that instruments and jewellery used in body piercing “were not cleaned, decontaminated and sterilised as appropriate”, that there was dirt and refuse on the floor, and that he failed to discharge his duty by not having hot water for hand washing, were left on file.