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CIVILS FIRMS PAYS PRICE OVER PUBLIC DANGER

Fencing wire struck member of public relaxing in own garden

Civil engineering firm, R M Contractors Limited, and a sole trader working on behalf of a tree surgery company, Complete Tree Services (CTS), have been sentenced after a member of the public was injured by fencing wire in May 2015.

Redditch Magistrates’ Court heard a member of the public was in her garden, when she was “sprayed with pieces of fencing wire” that had become entangled in a mechanical flail.

The pieces were ejected pieces after the flail head was lifted and directed towards her garden. She was struck in the leg and neck requiring surgery to remove the piece of metal from her neck.

Public right to expect safety in their garden

HSE investigators found that RM Contractors who engaged the sub-contractor CTS to carry out the flailing failed to properly plan the work and ensure suitable controls were identified and implemented.

Both companies failed to check the area for obstructions or follow safe procedures should such an event occur.

  • R M Contractors Limited – of Pipers Road, Park Farm Industrial Estate, Redditch, Worcestershire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, and was fined £180,000 and ordered to pay costs of £22,000.
  • Matt Lea – of Little Luddington Farm, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and has been sentenced to 120 hours community order and ordered to pay costs of £3600.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Chris Gregory said:

“Members of the public have a right to expect to be able to enjoy their garden without any risk of being hit by flying debris from neighbouring work activity.”

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