These pictures show bare-foot builders putting their lives at risk while working on a dangerous building site in Denton.
Workers with no safety equipment were photographed leaning over a huge hole while laying the foundations of a family home at Gilbraltar Lane. The excavation wasn’t shored up and was so deep it undermined a neighboring house making it unstable.
The photographs have been released after the site’s principal contractor Mustapha Matib was given a suspended prison sentence for breaking health and safety rules. Manchester magistrates’ court heard how between 2019 and 2020 Matib employed several groundworkers to excavate land at Gibraltar Lane in preparation for the construction of a family home.
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But after neighbors raised concerns a health and safety inspection was carried out and work stopped when ‘serious fall risks’ and ‘potential collapse’ risks were found.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that Matib had failed to prepare risk assessments and method statements detailing how the work would be safely carried out, failed to appoint a site manager with suitable skills, knowledge and experience and failed to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the workers.
Inspectors also found some builders working barefoot, found a ‘large, deep and unprotected excavation’ and found excavations were not shored or battered back to prevent the risk of collapse.
The site was not secured to prevent trespassers and a neighboring house had been undermined with parts of the property at risk of collapse due to the excavation work.
Matib of Allerton Road, Bradford pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 2 (1) and 3 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
He was given a 16 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, 200 hours community service and ordered to pay costs of £ 5,673.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Phil Redman said: “Inspectors will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against dutyholders who fall below the required standards and put lives at risk.”
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