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    JAIL TERM OVER REFURBISHMENT FATALITY

    Migrant worker worker died in fall from former mill roof

    A business man in charge of converting a former Lancashire mill has been jailed following an incident in which a Lithuanian worker died in a fall in January 2012.

    Ivars Bahmanis, aged 55, was a Lithuanian national living and working in Blackburn. He was involved in building work at a former canal works building when he fell nearly 8m. HSE investigators discovered that another employee had fallen from a height and broken his leg at the same site but the accident was not reported to HSE.

    Unskilled workers carried out hazardous work

    Preston Crown Court heard that Mr Bahmanis was installing metal brackets for new roof joists when he fell from the wall due to a “complete lack of safety measures”. Three members of the same family who had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to the charges received the following sentences.

    • Tameem Shafi, aged 31, who was in charge of the project, was sent to prison for 45 weeks for two breaches of regulation 6 (3) of the Work at Height regulations 2005.
    • Mohammed Shafi Karbhari, aged 59, the owner of the mill, was sentenced to 24 weeks imprisonment suspended for 2 years and ordered to pay £20,000 towards prosecution costs for breach of regulation 9 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007
    • Umar Shafi, aged 20, in charge of the work on the day, was sentenced to 120 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £3,900 towards prosecution costs for two breaches of regulation 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

    HSE investigators found the defendants failed to plan the work at height, employ competent contractors, “deliberately” chose to save money and were “well aware” that work was being carried out in an unsafe manner using unskilled workers.

    Following the case HSE Inspector Allen Shute said:

    “The dangers of working at height are well known – and can be easily and safely managed. It needs to be properly planned and carried out by competent contractors.

    The defendants tried to save money by asking unskilled workers to carry out hazardous work activities around the building. As a result Mr Bahmanis died needlessly in a horrifying incident which could and should have been prevented. There had also been a previous incident on site where another worker fell from height and broke his leg, which was never reported to HSE and only came out during the investigation. This should have served as a warning to them.”

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