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    DEVELOPER FAILED TO ENSURE STABLE GROUND

    Property company ignored HSE order to improve earth bank stability

    Merlin Homes (Wales) Ltd, of Aberystwyth has been prosecuted after pleading guilty to contravening a prohibition imposed by HSE by allowing people to work in the prohibited area. The company was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £7,700 costs.

    HSE issued the prohibition notice on 12 February 2010 stopping work behind the housing development at Parc Y Bryn, in Aberystwyth. There was a risk that the bank behind the properties could collapse.

    Firm ignored binding legal order

    Despite the prohibition notice Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court heard that company failed to take steps to prevent materials falling from the slope endangering employees working below it.

    After sentencing HSE inspector Philip Nicolle said:

    “Merlin Homes (Wales) Ltd failed to take the appropriate health and safety measures to ensure that all employees on site were working in a safe environment.

    Having received a prohibition notice the company should have followed procedures and put correct working practices in place. But they ignored this binding legal order and continued putting contractors at risk from falling or dislodged materials in full knowledge of the potential dangers.

    This is clearly unacceptable and companies should be aware that ignoring enforcement notices and putting workers at serious risk will see them in court.”

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