Retailer fined over unsafe glideboard

This story was published 22 January 2018

They were the must-have present for Christmas 2015.

B & M Retail Ltd was fined £30,000 after pleading guilty to an offence under the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008

But at Leeds Crown Court today, B & M Retail Ltd was fined £30,000 after pleading guilty to an offence under the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 relating to glideboards sold at its Northallerton store.

The case was brought by North Yorkshire County Council and the court heard that a trading standards officer made a test purchase of two boards from the store on 3 December 2015. One of the boards was submitted to a test house for examination and it was found that the charging unit had no cut-off device to prevent the battery overcharging.

Further problems were found with the plug and fuse, which could have posed a fire hazard. There was also insufficient separation between the mains input circuit and the low voltage output circuit in the power supply, which created a risk of electrocution. 

Sentencing the company, Judge Neil Clarke said: “It is clear that the company had not simply ignored its obligations as they had testing pre- and post-marketing of the product but the items tested seem to have been different to those in the shops. There were a combination of errors by the suppliers and the reality was that the product should have been checked again”.

B & M Retail Ltd was told that the starting point for the fine was £40,000 but that was reduced to £30,000 in recognition of the company’s relatively early guilty plea. The company was also ordered to pay the full prosecution costs of £10,763.

County Councillor Andrew Lee, portfolio holder for trading standards, said: “Consumers are entirely reliant on importers and retailers to ensure that products they buy are safe and will not pose a hazard to them, their families or their property. In this case, officers acted swiftly to suspend the glideboards from sale to safeguard the public and I am pleased that the fine imposed by the court reflects the risks that were present.”

Anyone with concerns about the safety of a product they have bought can report the matter to trading standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.