• Robert Spicer

Building collapse: property developer imprisoned

Building collapse: property developer imprisoned

Health and Safety Executive v Riaz Ahmad (2018) Manchester Crown Court, July 20

Statutory reference: ss. 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 1974 (HSWA) and regulation 19 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM).

Riaz Ahmad, a property developer, has been sentenced to imprisonment following the collapse of a building in Oldham

The facts

  • Ahmad appointed a group of workers with no experience in construction work to demolish a building.

  • In August 2017 an HSE inspector visited the site and found that most of the internal walls and roof supports had been removed. A prohibition notice was served and the major road next to the building was closed.

  • The roof and a wall of the building collapsed. This resulted in an emergency response during which other properties were evacuated.

  • The collapse could have been prevented if a principal contractor had been appointed and a suitable risk assessment carried out.

  • Ahmad did not plan the work. He appointed unskilled workers, neglected the risks of working at height and the stability of the building, failed to provide workers with basic welfare facilities and did not consider a number of health hazards.

The decision

Ahmad was sentenced to eight months imprisonment under ss. 2 and 3 of HSWA and regulation 19 of CDM, the sentences to run concurrently.

The Crown Court Judge is reported to have commented that this was a very serious case and it was nothing short of a miracle that only one person was injured.

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