Builder jailed after Worker Crushed at Building Site

A builder from Southampton has been jailed after one of his workers was crushed to death at a building site.

Builder jailed after Worker Crushed at Building Site f

"There are no winners here."

Paramjit Singh, aged 48, of Southampton, was jailed for three years and three months after one of his workers was crushed to death at a building site.

Winchester Crown Court heard that the incident happened on July 16, 2019, in Chilworth, Hampshire.

Shauna Ritchie, prosecuting, said that Singh had been hired to demolish a garage on Ling Dale and clear the rubble.

At the time, Singh owned SAB builder and employed staff to work as “odd job men”.

The day before the incident, Singh had demolished all but one side of the garage. He returned the next day to complete the job.

Singh arrived at around 9 am, using a digger to remove the wall.

However, the wall collapsed on top of 64-year-old Kulwant Singh Athwal, who was standing on the other side.

It is understood that Singh did not know where his team were when he began working with the digger.

Ms Ritchie said: “The precise mechanism of the collapse of that wall is not known.

“What is known is that falling masonry struck Kulwant Singh Athwal and caused him the catastrophic crush injuries that caused his death.”

The court heard that the section of the wall that had fallen weighed 167kg.

Ms Ritchie said Singh did not fence off the area, put up warning signs or carry out a survey of the building prior to the demolition.

Following a trial, Singh was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence.

He also previously pleaded guilty to two offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

HSE inspector James Lucas said: “All demolition work, however large or small, has the potential of serious risk if it is not properly planned and controlled.

“Paramjit Singh failed to prepare a written plan for the demolition of the building or any site-specific risk assessments.

“In this case, simple control measures and safe working practices, such as excluding people on site from danger zones with physical barriers, could have saved a life.

“There are no winners here.

“The victim, Kulwant Singh Athwal, so sadly lost his life because of the absence of basic safety measures.”

“The perpetrator, Paramjit Singh, will spend time in prison and will always carry the heavy burden of having caused another person’s death.

“HSE would like to encourage all small builders to ensure they know how to properly plan, manage and monitor all construction work they undertake.

“The HSE website provides a wealth of information, some of it translated into other languages.

“In addition, HSE wants to stress to all workers from minority communities or anyone from any background who may feel vulnerable, that health and safety law is there for their protection, just as much as any other workers.

“HSE always focuses on making workplaces safer and healthier, whoever is at risk.”

Singh was jailed for three years and three months. He received an additional 20 months in prison for breaching sections 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act. His sentences will run concurrently.

Detective Chief Inspector Kate Gunson, of Hampshire Constabulary, said:

“This was an extremely tragic case resulting in the completely avoidable death of Kulwant Singh Athwal.

“It is a tragedy for all involved. We hope that lessons will be learned that prevent this from ever happening again.”

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

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