A security guard has died from carbon monoxide poisoning while supervising a site in the north of England.
Javaid Iqbal, 29, worked for KK Security Services Ltd on a construction site in near Wigan, Lancashire.
Despite contractual regulations prohibiting the use of sub-contractors, the services of London-based KK Security were employed by Veritas Security (Southern) Ltd, a firm based in Southampton
The two security firms have been fined £8,000 each plus costs for failing to prevent the avoidable death of Mr Iqbal.
Trying to keep warm
On December 6, 2014, Mr Iqbal was working at the site in the early hours of the morning when the generator failed, Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard.
In an effort to combat the sub-zero temperatures, Mr Iqbal lit some barbeque coals in a wheelbarrow to keep warm.
He placed the wheelbarrow inside the makeshift site office – a 20ft steel container.
The toxic fumes in the contained space took effect, and police found Mr Iqbal dead from carbon monoxide poisoning just a few hours later.
Left to fend for himself
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Iqbal had made several attempts to re-start the site generator and had alerted both KK Securities Limited and Veritas Security who had failed to take action.
The court found that KK Securities Limited had failed to properly supervise lone workers and had no real out-of-hours emergency support procedure in place.
KK Security Services Ltd, of One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £8,000 with £4,854 costs.
Veritas Security is also deemed to have failed in having an appropriate emergency procedure in place.
Veritas Security (Southern) Limited, of St Anne Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire, pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £8,000 with £ 6,220 costs.
Both security firms have been ordered to pay an additional £120 victim surcharge.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Principal inspector Neil Jamieson said: “Mr Iqbal should have been required to ring and speak to his company every hour or have some form of panic button. His calls were not being monitored. Instead of this he was simply required to text in every hour stating that all was well.
“This tragic death could have been so easily avoided had either KK Securities Limited or Veritas Security (Southern) Limited made adequate arrangement to regularly check on Mr Iqbal’s welfare during the quiet hours.”
Carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas which is released by the incomplete burning of fuels including coal, gas, wood and oil.
It’s a colourless, odourless gas which has earned its name as ‘the silent killer.’
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: August 31, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown