Oil giant Shell has been fined £300,000 over problems with fire safety at one of its main offices in central London.
The company was also ordered to pay £45,000 in costs after it pleaded guilty to three breaches of the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order. This is the largest fine ever imposed under the measure.
The prosecution followed two separate fires at the London Shell Centre in January 2007, following which fire officers found extensive breaches, including blocked escape routes and fire exits and defective fire doors.
A Shell spokeswoman said no-one was hurt by the fires, and appropriate measures were taken to protect staff.
“We are sorry for the shortcomings but must emphasise there were no injuries to people,” she told Personnel Today. “We put things right immediately and have also had an independent review of our fire safety plans and condition of the building.”
Shell employs more than 8,000 people in the UK. The London Shell Centre, which is 27 storeys tall, holds close to 2,500 people.