A hardworking father has passed away after falling into a defective recycling machine whose vital safety features were reportedly disabled.
While the tragic death took place back in 2016, no one has yet faced any legal consequences resulting from the death of 36-year-old Gul Daad Khan, a father-of-six from the UK.
Before his unwarranted passing, Mr. Khan was working for just over £3 ($4) per hour at a recycling site in Digbeth, Birmingham.
As an inquest heard, the man died as he fell into a faulty recycling machine while trying to unblock the device whose safety features were disabled.
At the time, the machine was being leased to a recycling firm called Mr. Recycle Ltd by the owner of the site, Cardboard 4 Cash Ltd. In 2018, the company that owned the land where the tragic accident took place was renamed to C4C Investments Ltd.
According to the reports, Mr. Recycle Ltd has been operating at the site of the accident for years, whereas the land was acquired by Cardboard 4 Cash back in 2014.
As the inquest now heard in relation to the 2016 accident, workers at the site were allegedly not provided with required safety equipment. In addition, the safety features of the machine that took the life of the father were reportedly disabled at the time of the accident.
“The baler had become blocked due to overloading with cardboard. In an attempt to clear the blockage, the deceased climbed onto the top of the baler. He fell into the machine, which then continued to operate,” James Bennett, who was assistant coroner back in 2016, said.
“Many safety features of the baler had been disabled. The baler had not been maintained. No actions had been taken in response to safety concerns raised in prior Health & Safety audits.
“No risk assessments had been carried out. No safe systems of work were in place for general working, or for clearing blockages.
“No training had been carried out. No supervision was in place. Visibility around the baler was poor. No safety equipment was provided to the employees. Wet cardboard was a tripping hazard.”
As Gulbacha Yousafhail, the victim’s former coworker and friend, added, the pair worked for 11 hours per day, six days a week, for just over £3 ($4) per hour.
“Nobody was given any training in this factory. I was never given any training and never told or advised anything about the health and safety,” he claimed. “I was just given a jacket to wear and that’s it.”
Following the 2016 incident, the two companies in question, Mr. Recycle Ltd and Cardboard 4 Cash Ltd, were issued several improvement and prohibition notices.
Among other orders, the companies were banned from the use of the faulty machine “until such time as it has been subject to a thorough examination and maintenance check by a competent person and any deficiencies identified rectified to ensure that it can be operated in a safe manner.”
No one, however, has yet been charged in connection to the worker’s death according to the reports.
“The investigation into the incident is ongoing and HSE continues to support and liaise with West Midlands Police who retain primacy of the investigation, in accordance with the Work Related Death Protocol,” the Health and Safety Executive spokesperson said. “As the investigation is live, we are unable to comment further at this time.”
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