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BASEMENT CONVERSION PROJECT ENDED IN TRAGEDY

Contractor fined after migrant worker died under wall of gravel and clay

Construction contractor, Nadeem Aftab, has been ordered to pay over £160,000 in fines and prosecution costs following the death of a migrant worker who was ‘buried alive’ during underpinning works on a London property in June 2007.

Arlindo Visentin, 58, from Brazil, was working with three other men constructing a basement when he was crushed by a wall of gravel and clay weighing between three and five tonnes.

The Old Bailey heard that temporary works required to support the earth during an underpinning operation were not adequately planned. The earth that remained following the underpinning of the walls was not properly supported. The workers on site were not trained, qualified and competent to carry out underpinning.

Underpinning works are ‘significant engineering projects’

Nadeem Aftab of Rosebury Road, Fulham, who pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £61,590.

Following the hearing, HSE Inspector, Lisa Chappell said:

“Mr Visentin spoke very little English and did not share a common language with any of the other workers or with Mr Aftab.

This incident highlights the need to have effective worker consultation and communication with all employees to ensure they understand the control measures that should be in place to prevent harm.

Basement conversions involving underpinning are significant engineering projects and should be planned and managed by competent people.

As a part of this, a competent temporary works engineer should design an appropriate sequence of works, and the work should be actively managed by a person who had the necessary knowledge, training and experience to ensure it is carried out safely.”

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One Response to “BASEMENT CONVERSION PROJECT ENDED IN TRAGEDY”

  1. HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 3rd AUGUST 2011 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] Nadeem Aftab – basement collapse fatality: £100,000 […]