Timber Company fined for safety failings

A Timber company based in Somerset has been sentenced for safety failings relating to a construction project.

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Oxford Magistrates’ Court heard how The Timber Frame Company (TFC) was contracted to work at Tracey Farm, a country retreat.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) served a Prohibition Notice on the company prohibiting work at height approximately three metres above the ground without adequate precautions.

An investigation by the HSE found that work at height had not been properly planned or carried out safely. The company did not have suitable and sufficient measures to prevent workers from falling and sustaining injury. A Prohibition Notice (PN) was served and found to be breached when further unsafe work at height took place at the same location the following day.

The Timber Frame Company, of Red Cross Hall, High Street, Bruton, Somerset, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,133.

HSE inspector Peter Snelgrove said after the hearing: “If HSE visits a construction site and has to issue a prohibition notice preventing further work that shows there is a very real and immediate risk to workers.

“This case should act as a warning to other construction firms. The notices that HSE serve are legally enforceable and companies will find themselves in court if they fail to take action.”