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DIRECTORS JAILED AND FIRM FINED FOR MANSLAUGHTER

Client paid £100,000 less than economic cost for roof work

Three company directors have been jailed following the death of Nikolai Valkov, aged 63, who died in hospital after falling through the roof of a warehouse in Harlow on 13 April 2015.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard that whilst working on the roof, Mr Valkov stepped onto a discoloured skylight and fell to his death. The defendants were sentenced as follows:

  • Koseoglu Metalworks Ltd – admitted an offence of corporate manslaughter and was fined a total of £400,000 and ordered to pay £21,236 in prosecution costs;
  • Kadir Kose – the sole director of Koseoglu Metalworks Ltd, admitted an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSW Act) and was jailed for 8 months;
  • Ozdil Investments Ltd – denied a charge of corporate manslaughter and an offence under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSW Act)  but was convicted following a trial. The company was fined a total of £660,000 and ordered to pay £53,115.34 in prosecution costs; and
  • Firat Ozdil and Ozgur Ozdil – directors of Ozdil Investments Ltd were convicted of an HSW Act offence and jailed for one year and 10 months retrospectively.

The court heard how Ozdil Investments Ltd was the owner of the warehouse where the roof needed repairs. HSE and Harlow District Council had warned the company about the dangers involved in the repair work and the need for safety measures e.g. fall arrest netting.

No experience and below reasonable cost

Firat Ozdil and Ozgur Ozdil paid their friend Kose and his company Koseoglu Metalworks Ltd to carry out the work without netting or other safety measures.

Koseoglu Metalworks Ltd had no experience of roofing work and the fee paid by the Ozdils was approximately £100,000 less than a recognised roofing contractor would have charged. Kose failed to carry out a risk assessment and sent employees onto the roof without training.

Luke Bulpitt, from the Crown Prosecution Service said:

“By ignoring the safety measures they knew were required, the Odzils and their company risked the lives of everyone working on the roof in an attempt to save money.

Kadir Kose and Koseoglu Metalworks undertook the work to the roof without taking any appropriate safety steps, gambling with the lives of their employees.

Faced with the evidence against him, Kose and Koseoglu Metalworks admitted their guilt but the Ozdils and their company contested the charges. However, having heard the compelling case put forward by the prosecution, the jury returned guilty verdicts.

Our thoughts remain with the family of Mr Valkov.”

 

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