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South Wales builders’ merchant found wanting over fall from racking

 A company that operates a chain of builders’ merchants in South Wales has been fined £40,000 after pleading guilty to five separate health and safety charges, including a failure to provide health and safety training for its employees. 

Hughes Forrest also pleaded guilty to failing to examine forklift trucks used with a working platform, and for not providing employees with forklift training.

The charges were brought by Caerphilly County Borough Council following an incident at the company’s premises in Pontllanfraith, north of the town of Caerphilly.

The incident took place in June 2018 when a employee fell from racking that he had climbed in order to retrieve goods.

According to a report in the South Wales Argus, he was later diagnosed with multiple fractures of the left arm.

This was a serious incident involving a person becoming injured as a result of a failure to implement policies and procedures and I am pleased that the court has reflected this in the fine

Councillor Eluned Stenner, Caerphilly County Borough Council

 

Following an investigation by its environmental health team, Caerphilly County Borough Council brought the following charges against Hughes Forrest:

  • Failure to provide new employees with induction training or job-specific health and safety training, contrary to Section 2(2)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act;
  • Failure to provide employees operating forklift trucks with training in their use and the relevant refresher training, in breach of Regulation 1 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998;
  • Failure to make a suitable assessment of the risks posed from loading and unloading racking, contrary to Regulation 3(1)(a) and (b) of Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999;
  • Failure to organise the external yard area in such a way that pedestrians and vehicles can circulate in a safe manner, in breach of Regulation 17(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992; and
  • Failure to thoroughly examine the forklift trucks used with the working platform on a six-monthly basis, contrary to Regulation 9(3)(a)(i) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) 1998.

Appearing at Newport Magistrates’ Court, Hughes Forrest entered a guilty plea to all five charges.

The company was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £3,370.44, plus a victim surcharge of £170.

Councillor Eluned Stenner, cabinet member for the environment at Caerphilly County Borough Council, said: “We take all reports of accidents reported to the council very seriously and investigate them thoroughly.

“This was a serious incident involving a person becoming injured as a result of a failure to implement policies and procedures and I am pleased that the court has reflected this in the fine”.

According to the company website, Hughes Forrest has its head office in Newport and operates branches in Cardiff, Ebbw Vale and Pontllanfraith.

In the year to 31 December 2018 Hughes Forrest made a profit of £510,485 on a turnover of £13.2m, according to accounts filed with Companies House.

From: https://www.healthandsafetyatwork.com/news-and-prosecution/south-wales-builders-merchant-found-wanting-over-poor-forklift-use

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