A man has been jailed after a worker under his supervision died after falling almost seven metres.
Saleem Hussain has been given an eight months jail term, after a 45-year-old casual labourer fell to his death from a fragile roof while repairing the guttering at Witney Mill, Manchester in November 2013.
A Health and Safety Executive investigation discovered neither Mr Hussain nor the deceased were qualified to be working at height.
A needless death
The owner of Witney Mill had been led to believe by Mr Hussain that he was a qualified building contractor and therefore competent to undertake the work, which includes taking health and safety precautions that could have prevented the labourer’s needless death.
The warehouse owner had hired the pair to repair and seal leaking guttering, not realising they were neither practised nor skilled in this area of work.
No safety precautions were put in place and the pair used a ladder to access the fragile roof, rather than a mobile working platform or safety harnesses. Consequently, the tragic incident occurred on November 23, 2013.
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.”
A guilty verdict
Mr Hussain had failed to carry out an appropriate risk assessment of the site, and had also failed to put into place a safe working method that would have protected both from harm.
The contractor had not provided any safety equipment to undertake the task and had not given the worker any training.
Saleem Hussain 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.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: February 22, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown