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    JAIL TERM FOR DEVELOPER AFTER BUILDING COLLAPSE

    Inexperienced workers demolished structure without Principal Contractor

    A Manchester-based property developer has been sentenced after the roof and part of the rear wall collapsed at one of his properties during demolition works in August 2017.

    Manchester Crown Court heard how Riaz Ahmad engaged a group of workers, with no experience in construction, to demolish the property in Oldham.

    HSE visited the site on 11th August 2017 after receiving a call from the local authority building control department. Almost all the internal walls and supports for the roof had been removed and HSE issued a Prohibition Notice preventing any further work.

    A major road running past the building was closed because of the danger of collapse.

    On 12th August it was agreed that there was no safe way of accessing the building and the building control department obtained an order to demolish the building. It was shortly after this order that the roof and wall collapsed.

    The collapse triggered an emergency response involving Greater Manchester Police and the Fire Service and nearby properties were evacuated and the area cordoned off. The remainer of the building was demolished later that day. Local businesses faced significant disruption as the site was made safe.

    Miracle only one person injured

    HSE investigators found the collapse could have been prevented if a Principal Contractor been appointed and a suitable risk assessment carried out. These steps could have ensured the stability of the building during the demolition with regards to temporary works and control measures such as scaffolding.

    Mr Ahmad did not suitably plan the work as he employed unskilled workers, neglected the risks from working at height and stability of the building, failed to provide them with basic welfare facilities and did not consider several health hazards.

    • Riaz Ahmad – of Dickenson Road, Manchester, was found guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) and Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Regulation 19 (1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. He was sentenced to eight months imprisonment for each offence (concurrent) and was order to pay prosecution costs of £65,000.

    In his sentencing of Mr Ahmad, the Judge remarked that:

    ‘This was a very serious case indeed. It was nothing short of a miracle that only one person was injured. A clear statement has to be made to those who undertake significant projects such as this, namely that health and safety legislation has to be adhered to for good reason, and those who ignore its basic tenets will receive punishment.

    Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector David Argument said:

    “The incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.

    Duty holders should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards”

     

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