A principal contractor has been sentenced after it was discovered that he had supervised unsafe excavation work on a site in Denton, putting workers in danger and rendering the neighbouring property unstable
Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how between 2019 and 2020 Mustapha Matib had employed several groundworkers to excavate land at Gibraltar Lane, Denton in preparation for the construction of a family home.
However, neighbours were concerned and following an inspection on the site in August 2020, work was stopped when serious fall risks and potential collapse were identified.
Mr Matib had failed on numerous fronts on the unsafe excavation work, HSE reported
An investigation was conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which found that the contractor had failed to prepare a construction phase plan, risk assessment and method statements.
Mr Matib also failed to appoint a site manager with suitable skills, knowledge and experience to plan, manage and monitor the work and ensure the health, safety, and welfare of those carrying out the work or others who may be affected by their actions.
Inspectors also identified a large, deep and unprotected excavation, which presented a significant fall risk
The deep, unprotected excavation gave rise to foreseeable fall risk.
Not only this but HSE also noted that excavations were not shored or suitably battered back to prevent the risk of collapse.
Additionally, personal protective equipment had not been provided and shockingly, some workers were working barefoot on site.
Overall, the unsafe excavation work site was not adequately cordoned off which meant unauthorised persons could easily enter and neighbouring property had been undermined with parts of the property at risk of collapse due to the excavation work.
The principal contractor pleaded guilty and was sentenced to prison, unpaid work and ordered to pay a fine
Mustapha 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 sentenced to sixteen weeks imprisonment suspended for twelve months, ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work and 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.”