Courts imposes 8 month prison sentence for health and safety offence
A Manchester building contractor has been jailed following the death of a casual labourer who fell nearly 7m through a fragile roof. The 45-year-old workman was carrying out repair work at Witney Mill, Manchester when the incident occurred on 23 November 2013.
The defendant Saleem Hussain was engaged by the warehouse owner, who believed him to be a competent building contractor, to carry out repair and maintenance work on the warehouse roof.
Mr Hussain hired two people to do the work who HSE investigators found to be unqualified to carry out work at height. Access to the roof was by ladder in order to repair and seal leaking guttering.
No safety precautions were in place to protect the two men from the danger of falling through the fragile roof.
Danger of falls through fragile roofs well-known
Manchester Crown Court heard that Mr Hussain failed to assess the risks or put a safe working method in place. No suitable training or equipment to work on the roof had been provided.
Saleem Hussain of Birchfields Road, Manchester pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was sentenced to 8 months immediate imprisonment.
Speaking after the hearing HSE Principal Inspector Mike Sebastian said:
”The dangers of falls through fragile roofs and working at height are well-known.
Simple steps such as removing the need to access the roof directly by using mobile working platforms, or boarding out the roof, or using safety harnesses, can and should be used to prevent accident and injury.
Mr Hussain’s failure to take any such actions resulted in a tragic and needless loss of life”.