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Tue May 11 2021

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Three jailed for roof fall

22 May 17 Three company directors have been sent to prison following the death of a man who fell while repairing the roof of a warehouse in Essex.

Nikolai Valkov, 63, died in hospital after falling through the roof of a warehouse in Harlow on 13th April 2015.

At Chelmsford Crown Court, Koseoglu Metalworks Ltd admitted an offence of corporate manslaughter and sole director Kadir Kose admitted an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA).

The warehouse, called Ozdil House, was owned by Ozdil Investments Ltd. Ozdil Investments denied corporate manslaughter and a HSWA offence but was convicted following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court. Two of its directors, Firat Ozdil and Ozgur Ozdil, were convicted of an HSWA offence.

At the court on Friday (19th May 2017) Firat Ozdil was jailed for one year, Ozgur Ozdil for 10 months and Kadir Kose for eight months.

Both the Health & Safety Executive and Harlow District Council issued warnings to the company about the dangers involved in the repair work and specifically the need for safety measures such as netting to be put in place.

Despite this, Firat Ozdil and Ozgur Ozdil paid their friend Kadir Kose and his company Koseoglu Metalworks Ltd to carry out the work without netting or other safety measures.

The court heard that Koseoglu Metalworks Ltd had no experience of roofing work and the fee paid by the Ozdils was approximately £100,000 less than a recognised roofing contractor would have charged.

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Kose did not carry out a risk assessment at the site and sent staff employed by his company onto the roof without training.

While working on the roof, Mr Valkov stepped onto a discoloured skylight and fell to his death.

In addition to the jail sentences, Ozdil Investments was fined £660,000 and ordered to pay costs of more than £53,000. Koseoglu Metal Works was fined £400,000 plus £21,236 costs.

Crown Prosecution Service specialist prosecutor Luke Bulpitt said: "By ignoring the safety measures they knew were required, the Odzils and their company risked the lives of everyone working on the roof in an attempt to save money.

"Kadir Kose and Koseoglu Metalworks undertook the work to the roof without taking any appropriate safety steps, gambling with the lives of their employees.

"Faced with the evidence against him, Kose and Koseoglu Metalworks admitted their guilt but the Ozdils and their company contested the charges. However, having heard the compelling case put forward by the prosecution, the jury returned guilty verdicts.”

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