J G Hale Construction Ltd of Neath, South Wales, has been fined a total of £100k for breaching fire safety laws at its timber frame construction site in Blaevenon. Hale came under investigation after HSE made an unannounced visit to inspect the site.
Necessary safety measures to prevent a fire starting and getting out of control were not properly taken at the site. Inspectors found that the houses under construction had little fire protection, there was a lack of site management control, insufficient means to detect a fire and raise the alarm, poor control of ignition sources and a lack of emergency planning.
Improvement Notices were given out regarding vehicle safety and fire issues and these were complied with after two further inspection visits.
HSE inspector Liam Osborne said after the hearing that “Hale Construction had been given plenty of warnings about fire-safety and traffic risks in the recent past, including from HSE.
“Timber-frame houses are perfectly safe once they’re finished and protected, but when under construction they can be very dangerous.
“Stringent fire-safety standards need to be in place well before the build starts, and then maintained and monitored”.