Timber firms warned to be compliant with health and safety regulations
A health and safety consultancy has issued a warning to all timber companies, reminding them of the health and safety laws related to their sector.
One company has been recently fined, despite there being no injuries or ill health at the firm. Cambridge Timbertec Ltd, manufacturer of hardwood flooring, received a fine of £40,000 following receipt of six improvement notices. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had also provided written advice to the company. Initially, the firm was compliant with the notices, but another inspection by HSE initiated the issue of four improvement notices, three prohibition notices and eventual court action.
The cofounder of health and safety consultancy firm Southalls, Angela Southall, said that companies within the timber sector could learn some lessons from the case. Southall said:
“All too often businesses wrongly assume that there is a hierarchy, where if a breach is found they believe they can receive a verbal or written warning eventually leading to an improvement or prohibition notice.”
Southall added that the reality is that this process can be sidestepped if the history of the company produces a cause for concern. She further added that compliance is crucial, be it through putting a manager in place to oversee the health and safety practices, or hiring the services of an external specialist in health and safety procedures.
Relevant procedures may include training for employees, or provision of safety workwear and PPE. The HSE said that the prosecution of Cambridge Timbertec Ltd emphasised the requirement for compliance with the health and safety regulations.