A business man in charge of converting an old mill in Blackburn has been jailed, and his father, the owner of the building, given a suspended jail sentence following an incident in which a Lithuanian worker died in a fall.
The worker, Ivars Bahmanis, was involved in building work at the former canal works building. While he was working alone he fell nearly eight metres, due to a complete lack of safety measures in place, and died as a result.
During the investigation the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that previously another employee had fallen from a height and broken his leg at the same site. This accident was not reported to HSE.
The prosecution followed an investigation by HSE, which found that the defendants had failed to plan the work at height, employ competent contractors, that they had deliberately chosen to save money and were well aware that work was being carried out in an unsafe manner using unskilled workers.
“The dangers of working at height are well known – and can be easily and safely managed. It needs to be properly planned and carried out by competent contractors,” commented HSE Inspector Allen Shute.
“The defendants tried to save money by asking unskilled workers to carry out hazardous work activities around the building,” he added. “As a result Mr Bahmanis died needlessly in a horrifying incident which could and should have been prevented.”
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