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Merlin Homes fined £10k for health and safety breaches

Aberystwyth property company Merlin Homes has been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,700 after putting workers at risk and ignoring safety improvement orders.

The Health and Safety Executive issued a prohibition noticed to Merlin Homes on 12 February 2010 to stop work behind their development at Parc Y Bryn, off North Road in Aberystwyth, as there was a risk that the bank behind the properties could collapse.

The company had failed to take steps to prevent materials falling from the slope endangering employees working below it.

However, despite the prohibition notice Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court heard that HSE had found the company at work behind the site, failing to act upon the enforcement notice.

HSE inspector Philip Nicolle said:  “Merlin Homes failed to take the appropriate health and safety measures to ensure that all employees on site were working in a safe environment.

“Having received a prohibition notice the company should have followed procedures and put correct working practices in place. But they ignored this binding legal order and continued putting contractors at risk from falling or dislodged materials in full knowledge of the potential dangers.

“This is clearly unacceptable and companies should be aware that ignoring enforcement notices and putting workers at serious risk will see them in court.”

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