June 7, 2017

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Flooring firm and manager fined after safety failings

A Hardwood flooring supplier and manufacturer has been fined £40,000 for health and safety failings.

Cambridge Magistrates Court heard how Cambridge Timbertec Ltd failed to maintain suitable standards of work after several inspections by the HSE.

The company had previously received six improvement notices and written advice. It had initially complied with these but then failed to maintain standards. The court was told that the HSE inspected the site on the 12 March 2015 and found that the company should have adopted standards identified in previous inspections and not allowed them to lapse.

Suffolk-based Cambridge Timbertec Ltd pleaded guilty to four breaches under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act and was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,000.

The company’s general manager, Craig Butler, also pleaded guilty with the regard to the breaches and was fined £3,000 with costs of £700.

Sandra Dias, HSE inspector, said: “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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Steven Nagle
Steven Nagle
5 years ago

It’s a consistent problem, regularly hindered by the lack of training available to most staff at a variety of companies in quality management as well as safety management, meaning a lot of the time, standards lapse. This is one the HSE were able to catch but the reality is that such things are ’10 a penny’.

With having to sustain so many accreditations as well, with some SMEs balancing as many as a dozen formal accreditations (i.e. ISO, safe contractor, etc) the paperwork (which gets the work) tends to be the one that gets prioritised.