Reckless businessman jailed over warehouse fall

Work on fragile roofs is extremely dangerous and requires proper planning to make sure safety measures are considered and in place.

In another tragic case of safety failures, a businessman has been jailed for 30 months and a firm fined almost £150,000 after workers fell through an unsafe roof.

No regard for safety

The businessman had arranged a roof repair. But it was clear his main priority was to get it repaired as cheaply as possible with no regard for worker safety.

Two men were working on the warehouse roof when it cracked and they fell through onto a concrete floor. One died and the other suffered multiple fractures.

A police investigation in partnership with the Health & Safety Executive found a number of failings.

  • No warning was given of a fragile roof
  • No protection to stop falls
  • Both men were labourers and not “competent roofers”
  • Nothing was done to assess worker competence
  • Work was not appropriately planned, supervised or carried out
  • No safe method of roof working

There had also been no discussion of safety procedures, personal protective equipment or risk assessments.

Sentence

Businessman Mafizur Rahman admitted gross negligence and corporate manslaughter. He was given a prison term of two and a half years.

The company owning the warehouse Al Amin Wholesale Limited admitted breaking the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It was fined £144,000 with costs of £44,600.

Police said the businessman’s recklessness and negligence led directly to the worker’s death. They hope his sentence will send out the message that Health & Safety is “not an optional extra”.

 

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