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September 14, 2023

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Prosecutions

Construction company fined £20k after building site fire hazards

A Manchester-based construction company has been fined after numerous health and safety failings following an inspection.

On 13 January 2022, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors visited a timber-frame housing development under construction.

Of the inspection, HSE enforcement lawyer Nathan Cook told the Court: “Two inspectors went to the site and it’s fair to say that there were a number of issues. Building construction involved timber and bricks and there was a risk of fire because materials on the site were particularly flammable prior to construction. There was an open gas stove being used on the site.

“There was no hot or cold water on the site, no fire detection or alarm system, and poor security fencing which meant access could be gained to the site. The distance between the timber and neighbouring properties was less than recommended.”

Cook went on to say that the investigation found the company had also failed to assess the on and off-site fire risks, despite it being a timber-frame project in a highly residential area.

This was also despite previous advice and enforcement from HSE in relation to the matter. As a result, the company failed to implement measures to prevent a fire from occurring or spreading, putting workers and members of the public at risk.

At North Staffordshire Magistrates Court on 24 August, Amro Construction Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,587.

Cook added: “There were improvement notices served. To the credit of the company these were complied with and necessary improvements at the site were undertaken.”

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