Two security companies have been fined after a security guard died due to carbon monoxide poisoning. As a result of companies not implementing regular checks on their lone workers.
Mr Iqbal, a 29 year old father of three, was employed by a London based company called KK Security Services Ltd, as a security guard on a construction site in Leigh, Wigan. It was found that KK security were sub contracted by Veritas Security (Southern) Ltd, whom are a Southampton based company, even though it was written in the contract from the client that no sub-contracting would take place.
It was heard in Liverpool Magistrates’ Court that during the early hours of the 6th of December in 2014, the site’s generator failed due to sub-zero temperatures. In an attempt to keep warm Mr Iqbal lit some barbeque coals in a wheelbarrow which he then placed in a 20 foot steel container which was used as the site office. Mr Iqbal was found dead a few hours later, by police, having died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
It was also found the Mr Iqbal had made several attempts to re-start the site generator whilst trying to seek assistance from both his employers. Neither had provided adequate assistance to him.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) completed an investigation which found that KK Securities Limited failed to provide an adequate management system to protect the welfare and safety of their lone employees. No real provision had been put in place by the company for emergency support, the only option for Mr Iqbal was to ring his employer, who was hundreds of miles away, and could offer no practical assistance.
It was also found that Veritas Security (Southern) Limited failed to put adequate arrangements in place with the site occupier for emergency situations outside office hours, with example to loss of power or heating.
HSE Principle 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 of Veritas Security (Southern) Limited made adequate arrangements to regularly check on Mr Iqbals welfare during the quiet hours. Instead, it appears he was left to fend for himself.’
As a result of this incident and hearing 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. Whilst 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.
Go to the HSE press website to discover more about this incident and other HSE news.