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    TIMBER FRAME FIRM FAILED ON FIRE AND FALLING

    House builder fined after routine HSE site inspection

    A construction firm has been sentenced after failing to put measures in place to prevent falls from height and to control risks associated with fire on a Manchester project in August 2017.

    Greater Manchester Magistrates heard how the safety of their workers and nearby residents were put at risk during the construction of six timber frame houses.

    HSE inspectors found three men working on a flat roof which ranged from two to three stories high, with no edge protection in place to prevent falls. Access to the roof was by untied ladders resting on unsecured floorboards inside the building.

    Serious fire safety failings were also identified. The company failing to consider both the risks associated with constructing from timber, and the measures needed to reduce the risk of a fire occurring and spreading across and beyond the site.

    There was an accumulation of combustible materials on site, a lack of adequate site security and no general fire precautions in place.

    Suitable fire resistance lacking

    HSE stress that a material with a suitable level of fire resistance should have been used for the construction, taking into account the close proximity of the occupied apartment block.

    Construction of the timber frame should have been phased to allow the building in of suitable compartmentation to reduce the risk of fire spread.

    • Irish Anglo Properties Limited – of Moss Lane East, Manchester, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 29(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £26,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000.

    HSE inspector Laura Royales said after the hearing:

    “The failings on this site put not only the site operatives but also those living in the adjacent apartment block at risk of serious injury or even death.

    Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards, even where no incident occurs.”

     

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