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25th May 2017

HSE fines company and general manager despite no injury or ill health

The HSE has fined a company and its general manager for failing to upkeep health and safety standards, having previously issued multiple Improvement Notices.

Cambridge Timbertec Ltd had received six improvement notices and written advice following an HSE visit. Initially, the firm had complied with these notices but had then allowed standards to slip.

A further HSE inspection was undertaken on 12 March 2015 which resulted in three Prohibition Notices and a further four Improvement Notices. The inspection highlighted that Cambridge Timbertec should have maintained standards identified in previous inspections as opposed to allowing them to lapse.

Regulation breeches

The company was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,000 following pleading guilty to breaching:
– Regulation 7 (1) of The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
– Regulation 5 (1) of The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005
– Regulation 11 (1) of The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002
– Regulation 11 (1) (B) of Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998

The general manager of Cambridge Timbertec Ltd, Mr Craig Butler, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 in relation to the above four charges and was personally fined £3,000 and ordered to pay costs of £700.

HSE justification

HSE inspector Sandra Dias commented: “This case highlights the importance of continuing to comply with health and safety law. The HSE will consider prosecuting both a company and individuals even if there are no reported cases of injury or ill-health.

“Duty holders have the responsibility to ensure they have suitable competent advice to be able to fully understand the risks employees face, and implement adequate control measures so they can work safely. They also need to ensure they are able to identify early signs of deteriorating health which may be an indication of inadequate control measures. In this case Cambridge Timbertec Ltd and its general manager failed to do so.”

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