Birmingham building firm boss of Leyton Homes (Perry Barr) gets suspended sentence & fine after worker dies

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The boss of Birmingham building firm Leyton Homes (Perry Barr) Limited has been given a suspended prison sentence and fined £150,000 following the death of his employee Tawanda Chamwandayita

The boss of a building firm which employed a worker who was crushed to death under 17 heavy panes of glass has been given a nine-month suspended sentence.

Jalal Rana, director of Leyton Homes (Perry Barr) Limited watched as the panes were unloaded from a lorry on Oct 26, 2017. However Tawanda Chamwandayita, 37, a worker contracted by Rana was fatally crushed after the units of glass fell onto him.

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The glass fell against Tawanda’s leg pushing him off the lorry on Walsall Road, Birmingham. Tawanda from Edgbaston, fell to the ground and was crushed.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and West Midlands Police found vulnerable and inexperienced workers as young as 17 years old were working in “dangerous conditions” with no supervision, proper equipment, risk assessment or plan.

Rana was found guilty of being in breach of multiple health and safety laws and ordered to pay £57,171,95 in costs at Birmingham Crown Court on Jan 20.

This was on top of his nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. His company was also ordered to pay a total of over £150,000 in fines and costs.

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HSE inspector Edward Fryer said: “All parties are required to ensure that safety arrangements are in place and followed. This was a wholly preventable incident which led to the death of Tawanda Chamwandayita in tragic circumstances.”

Leyton Homes Limited was found guilty of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company had engaged their own contractor to arrange the delivery and unloading of the shipping container on the lorry.

Rana’s company had also employed Evergreen Construction (UK) Limited as the principal contractor on the build. Neither Leyton Homes Limited nor Evergreen Construction Limited took action to ensure the safety of the workers on the site or consider the competence of the contractors.

Tawanda Chamwandayita, a worker for Leyton Homes (Perry Barr) Limited in Birmingham died under 17 heavy panes of glassTawanda Chamwandayita, a worker for Leyton Homes (Perry Barr) Limited in Birmingham died under 17 heavy panes of glass
Tawanda Chamwandayita, a worker for Leyton Homes (Perry Barr) Limited in Birmingham died under 17 heavy panes of glass | HSE / SWNS

Evergreen Construction Limited was fined £115,000 and ordered to pay a further £52,561.96 in costs to the court. Edward Fryer continued: “This case highlights the importance of engaging competent contractors and making sure that roles and responsibilities are clearly defined.

“Management arrangements need to be clear between clients, contractors and principal contractors so that health and safety arrangements can be properly planned, coordinated and implemented.”

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