Southampton jailed for the death of a worker in Ling Dale

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A SOUTHAMPTON builder was locked up following the death of a worker on a construction site.

Paramjit Singh was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter following a two-week trial at Winchester Crown Court earlier this year

Today, the 48-year-old man from Iris Road was sentenced to three years and three months in prison.

He was also convicted of flouting health and safety laws.

Singh has been charged following the death of Kulwant Singh Athwal, 64, also of Southampton.

Winchester Crown Court heard how police were branded a construction site at a property called Birchdene in Ling Dale on July 16, 2019.

Athwal worked for Singh, who was previously the owner and manager of SAB Builders, as a “man with odd jobs”.

They had been hired by the owners to clear the garden and the garage to make room for an extension.

The day before the incident, Singh had demolished everything except one side of the garage on the lot.

However, no sign or boarding had been installed around the site to indicate that it was unsafe.

On July 16, 2019, Singh returned to the site just before 9 a.m. to demolish the last wall of the garage.

No exclusion zones were identified around the wall and Singh was unsure of the whereabouts of his team members when he started the shovel and walked towards the wall.

Sadly, Athwal was on the other side of the wall when he collapsed on top of him.

Post-mortem examinations performed by Home Office pathologist Dr Basil Purdue concluded Athwal died of his injuries, which amounted to being crushed by a heavy object.

The court also heard that Singh’s civil liability and CS card expired after SAB Builders went bankrupt in 2015 and ceased operations.

The Hampshire Police investigation was led by Chief Detective Inspector Kate Gunson.

Speaking after today’s verdict, she said: “This was an extremely tragic case which resulted in the completely preventable death of Kulwant Singh Athwal.

“It is a tragedy for everyone involved. We hope lessons will be learned to prevent this from happening again.”

HSE Inspector James Lucas said: “All demolition work, whether large or small, presents a serious potential risk if not properly planned and controlled.

Paramjit Singh did not prepare a written plan for the demolition of the building or any site-specific risk assessment. In this case, simple control measures and safe work practices, such as excluding people on the site. site of dangerous areas with physical barriers, could have saved a life.

“There are no winners here. The victim, Kulwant Singh Atwal, sadly lost his life due to the lack of basic security measures. The perpetrator, Paramjit Singh, will spend time in prison and will always carry the heavy burden of causing another person’s death.

“HSE wants to encourage all small builders to make sure they know how to properly plan, manage and monitor any construction work they undertake. The HSE website provides a wealth of information, some of which is translated into other languages.

“In addition, HSE would like to stress to all workers from minority communities or anyone from any background who may feel vulnerable, that the health and safety law is there for their protection, just like any other. worker. HSE always strives to make workplaces safer. and healthier, anyone who is at risk. ”


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