Health and Safety News

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Developer in court after shopworkers cheat death following building collapse

The building after the gable end collapsed, with the roof structure missing from the left hand sideA Sheffield property developer has been fined for dangerous safety failings after a building partly collapsed and sent tonnes of rubble through a neighbouring shop roof - just missing two shopworkers.

Developer Ghulam Rasul put the lives of the workers and of the local community at serious risk when he ignored a legal enforcement notice ordering him to halt all demolition work at the site because the building was potentially unstable.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) brought the prosecution after investigating the incident at Steetley Chambers, a former industrial premises, between Stoke Street and Effingham Road in Sheffield, on 4 February last year.

On 25 May, Sheffield Magistrates heard that HSE found Mr. Rasul restarted demolition work on the site in late 2010, breaching a Prohibition Notice served on him in April 2008 relating to serious safety concerns. By doing so, the building was weakened further, increasing its instability and the potential for a collapse, and putting anyone near it at serous risk of injury.

On 4 February, the gable end of the two-storey building did collapse. Around ten tonnes of brick and rubble crashed through the roof of the fishing tackle shop next door, which was open for business, and narrowly missed the shopworkers.

Ghulam Rasul, of Balfour Road, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to an offence under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and to breaching a Prohibition Notice. He was fined a total of £6,000 and ordered to pay £2,418 in costs.


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