A construction company based in South Wales has been handed a hefty fine after failing to adhere to health and safety regulations and putting its workforce at risk, which could be a stark reminder to provide basic safety training to your employees and ensure the environment they work in is safe at all times.
The firm will have to pay £100,000 following an unexpected visit from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to its site in Blaenavon.
Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court heard how the HSE found poor fire management on the site, despite the fact the 54 houses that were being built there were all made from timber frames and carried a significant fire risk.
HSE Inspector Liam Osborne commented: “Timber frame houses are perfectly safe once they’re finished and protected but when under construction they can be very dangerous. Stringent fire safety standards need to be in place well before the build starts and then maintained and monitored.”
However, there was a lack of site management control, insufficient means to detect a fire, a lack of emergency planning, little fire protection on the builds, and challenges when it comes to raising a fire alarm.
The construction company pleaded guilty to breaching two of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and received a £40,000 and £60,000 fine as a result. In addition to this, they had to pay prosecution expenses worth £4,633.76 and a statutory surcharge of £120.
Improvement notices were finally complied with after the HSE visited a further two times, with Mr Osborne adding that the firm had been given “plenty of warnings about fire-safety”.
Building sites can be very dangerous places, and another construction company was recently fined £40,000 as a result of one of its employees being run over by an excavator in November 2013.