Contractor sentenced after builders were photographed barefoot on construction site

A construction contractor has been convicted of health and safety violations after workers were photographed barefoot on a construction site. Mustapha Matib was found to have supervised unsafe work, which put his employees at risk.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive revealed that Matib had not prepared a construction phase plan. This should have included risk assessments and method statements detailing how the work would be done.

He also failed to appoint a site manager with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to plan, manage and monitor the work. Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how, between 2019 and 2020, Mustapha Matib employed several land workers to dig land in Gibraltar Lane, Denton for the construction of a family home.

An inspection was carried out at the site in August 2020 after neighbors raised significant concerns and work was halted when serious fall hazards and potential collapse were identified. Inspectors identified a large, deep, unprotected excavation that resulted in a foreseeable fall hazard.

There was also no personal protective equipment provided and some workers worked barefoot. The site was not secure enough to prevent unauthorized persons from entering.

A nearby property had also been mined, with parts in danger of collapsing due to excavation work. Phil Redmen, an HSE inspector, said: ‘Inspectors will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against rights holders who fail to meet required standards and put lives at risk.’

Matib, of Allerton Road, Bradford, was sentenced to 16 weeks in jail, suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to perform 200 hours of unpaid work and pay costs of £5,673.

Alice F. Ponder