O’Dowd’s Bar and BED Nightclub plead guilty in Newry Council court case

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Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
Community, News
O’Dowds Bar and BED nightclub was today fined £2,000 plus costs of £1,129 at Newry Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to the non compliance of Health and Safety Notices.

O’Dowd’s Bar and BED Nightclub were fined in what is a first for the district

Newry and Mourne District Council had requested the premises provide an assessment of the risk to their employees from noise within the bar and nightclub. The premises did not provide such an assessment and therefore a Health and Safety Improvement Notice was served. The aim of the Control of Noise at Work Regulations (NI) 2006 is to ensure that workers’ hearing is protected from excessive noise at their place of work, which could cause them to lose their hearing or to suffer from tinnitus (permanent ringing in the ears). According to the regulations, people who work or perform in pubs or clubs where amplified music is played are likely to experience high noise levels. Regular exposure to high levels of noise can cause permanent hearing damage. The regulations also state that employers and employees working in pubs and clubs have responsibilities to protect the hearing of all employees. This includes bar staff, performers and crew, including guest performers. The Council Notice was not complied with and at a previous Court appearance an Order was issued again requiring the noise risk assessment to be completed. The Council have now prosecuted the company for the non compliance with this Court Order. This has been the first nightclub or bar within the district to be prosecuted for such an offence. Speaking to Newry Times, Assistant Director of Environmental Health, Mr Eoin Devlin said, “All premises must control the hazards within the workplace. This company was requested to assess the hazards to protect their employees, which they did not do. He added, “I am pleased with the fine imposed today and this should send a clear message to all premises within our district.”

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