09 Sep 2019

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has welcomed the prosecution of a fire risk assessor, saying it proves that there are consequences for failing to comply with safety laws.

David Thompson of Toftwood Health & Safety Solutions was fined £750 and ordered to pay a £170 surcharge and £1,000 costs at Sheffield Magistrates Court on Friday (23 August) for failing to provide a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment.

Thompson pleaded guilty to the offence under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The offence related to a risk assessment carried out at Hexagon student accommodation on Rockingham Lane, Sheffield.

Ashgate Property Developments Ltd had already been fined £36,000 at an earlier hearing for three separate offences relating to the same premises.

In summing up this case, the judge said that competence is knowing when you yourself aren’t able to do something – and that risk assessors should recognise the limits of their experience and expertise.

Area Manager Steve Helps, said: “This verdict should serve as a stark warning to building owners that people carrying out fire risk assessments should be competent and able to properly consider all of the risks within buildings, particular where people’s lives could be placed at risk.

“The sentence in this case proves that people will rightly be held to account if risk assessments are found to be insufficient.”

Anyone with queries regarding business fire safety can contact the service’s specialist inspection team here.

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