Case Study: Health and Safety Legislation

The court heard how during the afternoon of Saturday 24 January 2015 Tasadaq Ur-Rehman was working on a site in St. Saviours Hill, Leicester, when he fell through a skylight aperture in a first floor roof and sustained serious head injuries.
He was taken to the Leicester Royal Infirmary, but later transferred to the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham where he subsequently died on Wednesday 28 January.

Following Mr. Ur-Rehman’s death a joint investigation between Leicestershire Police and the HSE was launched.
The investigation discovered that Mr Patel was the manager on the building site and had asked Mr Tasadaq to fit windows on the first floor. Mr Ur-Rehman, an experienced window fitter, agreed to fit doors and windows on the site over the weekend of 24 and 25 January 2015.

However, shortly after arriving on site he fell three metres through an open skylight on a first floor flat roof.
On 26 January, HSE inspectors issued a prohibition notice on Mr Patel, ordering a halt to any work at height. But on two subsequent visits, one after Mr Ur-Rehman’s death, they found evidence that work had continued.

When police attended on 10 February and again found the order had been breached, Mr Patel was arrested and charged with manslaughter by gross negligence.

Investigations
Investigations revealed that:

  • there was no scaffolding provided in the area where the windows were to be fitted;
  • there was no safe method of transferring the windows to the first floor, where access was only by way of a broken, untethered ladder;
  • ladders were not secured properly and one was found balancing in a pile of sand;
  • nobody on site was wearing any personal protective equipment;
  • there was no qualified first aider on site;
  • openings in the ceilings on the first and second floors were not guarded;
  • there were no signs warning of hazards; and
  • scaffolding was not properly secured on the site.

Sentencing
On Friday 15 July 2016, Faruk Patel, 40, of Upperton Road, Leicester was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence after a trial at Birmingham Crown Court. A jury convicted Patel after less than three hours of deliberation.
Mr Patel also pleaded guilty in December 2015 to three health and safety offences. He was sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison for manslaughter by gross negligence and eight months in prison for the health and safety offences, to run concurrently.
On sentencing Mr Justice John Saunders said: “It seems the defendant had no idea of the responsibilities he had for maintaining the safety of the site. The defendant paid no regard to health and safety requirements whatsoever.”

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