Man jailed after employee plunges to his death

Court heard of “recklessness and negligence”.

A Birmingham businessman was sentenced to 30 months in prison for corporate manslaughter on Tuesday 17th January after a man plunged to his death from a factory roof.

Mafizur Rahman, aged 32, pleaded guilty to the charge at Birmingham Crown Court in December and has now been sentenced for the gross negligence which led to the death of 29-year-old Tomasz Galwaz on 5th January 2015. He was also fined £144,000 and ordered to pay costs of £44,600.

Mr Galwaz and a friend were employed by Rahman in December 2014 to carry out repairs to the roof of the Al Amin warehouse in Aston owned by his brothers and father.

The deal was carried out through an interpreter as the two men, who were Polish, spoke very little English. The interpreter later told police there were no discussions around safety procedures, personal protective equipment or risk assessments. There was also no mention of insurance.

The pair started the second of three days of work on the roof on January 5th, but just hours later, tragedy struck when the roof cracked and they both fell through straight onto a concrete floor. Mr Galwaz was rushed to hospital but later died from his head injuries. The second man suffered minor injuries.

The police investigation was carried out in close partnership with the Health and Safety Executive.

Det Insp Jim Munro from West Midlands Police said; “The recklessness and negligence showed by Mr Rahman in this case led directly to the death of Mr Galwaz and we are pleased the severity of this was recognised in court today.

“Rahman’s main priority was to get the job done as cheaply as possible with complete disregard for the safety of these workers − with tragic consequences. We hope this sentence sends out a message to others than health and safety is not an optional extra.”

Edward Fryer, HM Inspector of Health and Safety said, “Work on fragile roofs is extremely hazardous and requires proper planning and oversight to ensure that safety precautions are considered and implemented. In this case the client, Al Amin Wholesale Limited, did nothing to check that work on their roof would be carried out safely. As a consequence of this neglect Mafizur Rahman, who the company had tasked with arranging the roof work, acted in a way which made it almost inevitable that a fall would occur, there was simply nothing put in place to prevent it.

“Businesses have a major influence on how work is carried out on their projects, they need to take an active interest at each stage of the work and provide sufficient time and resources. Their decisions and approach have a significant impact on the health, safety and welfare of their projects. This tragedy was entirely preventable.”

Al Amin Wholesale Limited, the company who own the buildings, also pleaded guilty for breaches under the Health and Safety at Work Act.