Life is the name of the game

Life is the name of the game

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In its heyday The Generation Game attracted 25 million viewers, a game show where generations from the same family competed to win prizes – including the cuddly toy. Such was its popularity, “the scores on the doors” and “the names in the frame” are catchphrases that echo across the decades.

A recent name in the frame is building site manager Faruk Patel, aged 40 of Upperton Road, Leicester, jailed after worker Tasadaq Ur-Rehman died on a site in January last year as a result of a fall from height...an accident that didn’t have to happen.

Patel was convicted of manslaughter by gross negligence after a trial in July, and he also pleaded guilty to three health and safety offences. He was sentenced to two years and six months in prison for manslaughter due to gross negligence, and a further eight months for the health and safety offences.

The court heard there was no scaffolding in the area where Tasadaq was fitting windows, and no safe method of transferring the windows to the first floor where access was only by way of a broken, untethered ladder.

That ladder was an accident waiting to happen. The difference between where Faruk Patel was in relation to his legal obligations and where he should have been created extreme risk, according to the HSE. His actions have devastated generations of Tasadaq’s family, as outlined in the victim impact statement read out at sentencing: “We’ve lost a loving dad, husband and one of the most wonderful people we’ve known. His family meant everything to him.

“He was taken away from us in his prime. Every day, little things remind us of him but we know he is not coming back.”

This is the real generation game, played out every day as people go about earning their living; the scores on the doors are clearly displayed on the HSE website, which lists the numbers and stories of those killed and seriously injured while at work; the names in the frame are highlighted for all when something goes wrong.

Successful prosecutions send the message that deviations from acceptable standards will not be tolerated, but perhaps provide little comfort to bereaved families who fully appreciate that accidents don’t have to happen.

Karen McDonnell, RoSPA's occupational safety and health policy adviser

Posted: 01/09/2016 14:35:06 0 comments


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