Flawed floor leads to prosecution

By on 04/02/2010 in News

mezzanineA builders merchant who constructed a mezzanine that endangered staff and customers has been fined £11,585 including costs, following an inspection by officers from Birmingham City Council.

During a routine inspection in November 2008, an officer from the council's health and safety regulatory team discovered that Mr. Zaman Ali, owner of HRA Builders Merchants, had constructed a mezzanine structure from racking parts and wood.

The structure was extremely unstable and was not adequately fastened to the floor or walls of the warehouse and deemed to be at risk of collapse.  Mr. Ali further increased the risk by allowing fork lift trucks to operate underneath the structure, placing both employees and customers in immediate danger. Prohibition notices were served on the structure and it was later dismantled. 

Councillor Neil Eustace, Chair of the Public Protection Committee, Birmingham City Council Regulatory Services said:

“I hope this result sends out the clear message to other businesses that it is unacceptable to place employees and members of the public at risk. This structure was little more than a game of Jenga waiting to topple. Had a fork lift truck collided with the structure, it no doubt would have collapsed, resulting in potentially fatal consequences to employees or customers who regularly passed underneath it. Although it is unusual for such action to be taken following an inspection, this case reflects how far the business had strayed from its duties.”

Mr. Ali pleaded guilty at Birmingham Magistrates Court on 29th January 2010 to breaching both Section 2 and Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was ordered to pay costs of £1,585.


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