Journalist, SHP Online

August 15, 2016

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Firms fined over death of security guard

Two security companies have been fined after a security guard died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Javaid Iqbal, a 29-year-old father of three, was employed by London based KK Security Services Ltd as a security guard on a construction site in Leigh, Wigan. KK Security were sub contracted by Veritas Security (Southern) Ltd, a Southampton based company, despite it being written into the contract from the client that no sub-contracting would take place.

Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard that during the early hours of 6 December 2014, the site’s generator failed in sub-zero temperatures and in an attempt to keep warm Mr Iqbal lit some barbecue coals in a wheelbarrow which he placed in a 20 foot steel container used as the site office. Mr Iqbal was found dead by police a few hours later having died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Failings

The HSE investigation found a number of failings, including:

  • Mr Iqbal had made a number of attempts to re-start the site generator and had sought assistance from both his employers but neither had provided any meaningful assistance to him;
  • KK Securities Limited failed to provide a management system to protect the welfare and safety of their employees, particularly lone workers;
  • No real provision had been made by KK Securities Limited for emergency support, the only option open to Mr Iqbal being to ring his employer who was hundreds of miles away and could offer no practical assistance; and
  • Veritas Security (Southern) Limited failed to put proper arrangements in place with the site occupier for emergency situations outside office hours, such as a loss of power or heating.

HSE Principal inspector Neil Jamieson said after the hearing: “Mr Iqbal should have been required to ring and speak to his company every hour or have some form of panic button. His calls were not being monitored.  Instead of this he was simply required to text in every hour stating that all was well.

“This tragic death could have been so easily avoided had either KK Securities Limited or Veritas Security (Southern) Limited made adequate arrangement to regularly check on  Mr Iqbal’s welfare during the quiet hours.  Instead, it appears he was left to fend for himself ”.

KK Security Services Ltd, of One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £8,000 with £ 4,854 costs.

Veritas Security (Southern) Ltd, of St Anne Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire, pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £8,000  with £ 6,220  costs.

Both parties were also required to pay an additional £120 victims surcharge.

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David Wilson

Gas Safety awareness by employers and employees yet again seems to be totally inadequate. I encourage all firms to sign up to Gas Safety week 2016 and brief all their staff on the causes and dangers of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

Lance Aikman Green

Seems like a woefully inadequate fine considering that both companies contributed to the death of a man leaving three children behind. I am curious to know whether the Veritas in particular was fined in accordance with the recently revised sentencing guidelines.

Paul Deering

Despite it being written into contract, no sub contracting to occur, what happens! Blatant disregard
They will never know, well guess what, it has come back and bitten you.
Fine does seem paltry, I can only hope m’learned friends are engaged by the family compensation wise.