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Property developer to pay £43,000 for putting 6 migrant workers at risk

Directions bring to fore perils the migrant labour faces 6th June 2011: The perils the migrant labour faces has come to fore after a property developer was ordered to pay approximately £43,000 in penalties for putting at least six migrant workers at risk.
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The danger to their safety was posed during demolition work at a warehouse in Hackney in north London.

The HSE prosecuted Nabiganj Investment Company after a worker sustained severe head injuries in October 2009. He had fallen more than five meters from an unfinished tower scaffold.

In fact, he suffered life-threatening injuries to his head, pelvis and spine. Even now, he can walk with difficulty.

At least six Chinese migrant workers speaking little English were carrying out the demolition of the floors and were also taking away the rubble, allegedly exposing themselves in the process to asbestos fibers.

Acting as a client for a notifiable project, Nabiganj was allegedly unable to comply with vital requirements prescribed under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM).

The property developer had also failed to appoint a CDM coordinator. Besides this, the developer permitted the construction phase to begin even before an adequate construction phase plan.

HSE inspectors found asbestos in fragments from the demolition work. They also came across that Nabiganj had not done an asbestos survey before the commencement of work.
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Nabiganj Investment Company on 27th May pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 4(1)(a), 10, 14(1) and 16(1) of CDM at City of London Magistrates’ Court. The company was fined £37,500 and ordered to pay costs of £5459.

During the hearing, the magistrates were told that the HSE had earlier issued Nabiganj with enforcement notices at other sites. The notices included two Improvement Notices for allegedly not complying with client duties under CDM. Besides this, two Prohibition Notices too were issue.

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