Barefoot workers risked lives in horror photos on danger-filled UK building site

A crooked property contractor has avoided prison after pictures revealed his barefoot builders putting their lives at risk while working on his dangerous building site.

Manchester Magistrates' Court heard how between 2019 and 2020, Mustapha Matib employed several ground workers to excavate land in preparation for the construction of a family home in Denton, Greater Manchester.

Shocked neighbours raised concerns and a health and safety inspection was carried out, and work stopped when 'serious fall risks' and 'potential collapse' risks were found.

Appalling pictures from the chaotic site show workers with no shoes or socks carrying out work despite the obvious risks, and one where a man leans over a deep chasm and looks down.

Another snap shows yet another barefoot worker toss something from a bucket into a large pile at the site.

Among the problems at the site was that the excavation wasn't shored up and was so deep it undermined a neighbouring house, making it unstable, Manchester Evening News reported.

The site was also not secured to prevent trespassers.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that Matib had failed to prepare risk assessments and method statements detailing how the work would be safely carried out.

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He also failed to appoint a site manager with suitable skills, knowledge and experience and failed to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the workers.

Matib, from Bradford, pleaded guilty to breaking health and safety rules and was given a 16 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, 200 hours community service and ordered to pay costs of £5,673.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Phil Redman said: "Inspectors will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against dutyholders who fall below the required standards and put lives at risk."

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