Unannounced HSE inspection results in fine for timber company
A South Wales construction company has been fined following two breaches of the health and safety act.
An inspection by the Health and Safety Executive revealed that the construction of timber frame houses, by J G Hale Construction Ltd, was in breach of Regulations 27 and 29 of Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.
Cwmbran Magistrates' Court was told how an investigation was instigated by the HSE on 27th July, following an unannounced visit to the construction site in the centre of Blaenavon. The company was constructing 54 houses, all timber frame structure. As the frames are made of wood, a fire can start and spread extremely quickly, putting the lives of members of the public and workers at risk.
HSE discovered that the company hadn't put the correct measures in place to prevent a fire and to stop it spreading. Most of the houses were at a similar stage in construction, while minimal fire protection had been implemented and hardly any site control was in place.
Ignition sources were also poorly controlled, while insufficient processes were in place to detect a fire and raise the alarm in case of an incident. In addition to the lack of emergency procedures, construction workers had also been placed at risk of being crushed or struck by vehicles on the site. The company received two fines which amounted to £100,000, as well as costs of £4,633.76.
Although PPE is generally required to prevent injury, additional precautions also need to be taken, especially in the case of fire.