A development company has been fined £8,000 for breaches of health and safety regulations after it carried out potentially dangerous work and then ignored an order to cease operations.
Eastlake Developments was installing septic tanks at Llanfair Discoed near Chepstow in July 2013.
A Health and Safety Executive investigation found that an unqualified worker was overseeing the project, which required six-metre deep excavations and that the diggings had no support for the sides or barriers at the top to prevent people falling in.
Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court heard that a Prohibition Notice was served to stop work until improvements were made, but a second HSE inspection found that a second septic tank had been installed.
Itton-based Eastlake Developments admitted to breaching health and safety laws and was fined £8,000 – plus made to pay more than £1,000 in costs.
HSE Inspector Steve Richardson said that more people die working in the construction industry than any other trade so companies “must plan, manage and control construction work in a safe way”.
He added: “Failure to observe Prohibition or Improvement Notices served by HSE is a criminal offence and is taken very seriously by the courts.”
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Date Published: May 1, 2014
Author: David Brown