Ignore enforcement safety notices at your peril

News Article

A company which ignored the warnings of a health and safety inspector has been handed fines totalling £90,000 by a Crown Court judge.

Construction firm Hatchmere Park Ltd from Grantham, pleaded guilty to eight health and safety compliance breaches after ignoring previous warnings that it was breaking regulations.

Exeter Crown Court heard how Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors had visited one of the firm’s construction sites in Torbay, after being alerted by the local authority that unsafe construction work was taking place.

A council official had noticed that residents were being put at risk as walls up to four and a half metres in height were being constructed next to existing homes, with nothing in place to prevent falls from happening.

An investigation by the HSE and Torbay Council found multiple safety failings. There was overall a failure to take reasonable steps to manage the construction work without risk to the health and safety of both workers and residents.

However, the company compounded the initial breaches by failing to comply with improvement notices served by both the HSE and Torbay Council, relating to site security including the fencing, perimeter and signs that identify the construction site.

In addition to the £90,000 fine, the company was ordered to pay costs of £25,000.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Helena Allum said: “This company has a history of failing to comply with Health and Safety enforcement notices, in this case putting residents, some vulnerable, at risk of an accident which was not acceptable.”

Lara Murray, an Associate and health and safety specialist with Palmers said: “This case highlights the fact that companies cannot afford to ignore HSE enforcement notices. A failure to act on such notices not only risks a hefty fine but also endangers the lives of workers and members of the public.”

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