Three companies have been sentenced for failing to take adequate precautions against fire risk when building a timber frame extension to a sheltered accommodation residential home.
Worcester Crown Court heard that in the months leading up to October 2017 principal contractor E Manton Limited, timber frame designer, manufacturer and installer MTE (Leicester) Limited and principal designer Thornton – Firkin LLP were working on the project. This involved the installation of the timber frame three-storey construction with a timber frame link extension to an occupied sheltered accommodation residential home in Pershore, Worcestershire without adequate fire prevention controls in place, thereby putting members of the public at risk.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the defendants failed to fulfil their respective duties to plan, manage and monitor construction work in a manner that prevents risks from fire and protects persons who may be affected by the project. The risks should have been prevented by designing out the major fire risks and implementing a plan to incorporate measures to minimise the residual fire risk during the construction phase in accordance with industry good practice.
E Manton Limited of Birmingham Business Park, Birmingham pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been fined £26,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,944.
MTE (Leicester) Limited of Sunningdale Road, Leicester pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,413.
Thornton – Firkin LLP of Newhall Street, Birmingham pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,133.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Christopher Gregory said: “These cases highlight the need for all duty-holders to take proactive action to ensure they are not putting workers and others at risk from foreseeable fire risks by taking reasonably practicable actions, in accordance with industry standards, to comply with their duties under the respective regulations. Fire kills and members of the public have a right to be protected.”
Notes to Editors:
1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. www.hse.gov.uk
2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk
4. Further information about fire safety in construction can be found at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg168.htm