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Failed company and its manager convicted of corporate and gross negligence manslaughter

16/08/2016

TODAY Bilston Skips and Bikram Singh Mahli were found guilty of the manslaughter of 24-year-old site worker Jagpal Singh. Bikram Singh Mahli was sentenced to two years imprisonment suspended for a period of two years. The company, which is now in liquidation, was fined £600,000.

Dan Jones, specialist prosecutor at the CPS said: "Safe working practices were not in place at Bilston Skips Limited. The risk to onsite workers had not been considered and was not managed.

"The gross neglect of health and safety measures by the company and its manager was so serious that it was criminal. It led directly to the fatal incident that killed Jagpal Singh.

"The CPS continues to work with the police and Health & Safety Executive investigators to bring to justice those who fail in their duty of care towards workers, failing their trust and endangering lives."

On 28 June 2012 Jagpal Singh fell eight feet from the top of a skip. He died later in New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton having suffered severe injury to internal organs.

Jagpal Singh had been working in and around two large skips, accessible only via a metal ladder on the side, in order to rearranging "green waste" or garden rubbish for compression.  The arm of a JCB excavator being used to compress the waste and said to have been in very poor condition was in very close proximity to where he was working. It is not known whether the arm made contact with his body before he fell. The manager Bikram Singh Mahli was operating the JCB excavator to compress the contents of the skip.

Additional Information:

Bikram Singh Mahli was known to other workers as both the Manager and General Manager of the company, since 2011 when the previous manager left. He requested that Balwinder Singh, who cannot read or write English, sign formal documents concerning the company.

Bilston Skips Limited, a skip service company based in Wolverhampton, and its manager Bikram Singh Mahli were negligent in their duty of care towards staff. There was no record of any Health and Safety qualified individual on site. Mahli confirmed he had no health and safety training and there was no system in place to report or record any incidents.

Details of convictions:

Bilston Skips Limited was charged with one charge of corporate manslaughter and one Section 2 Health and Safety charge (HSWA). They were convicted of both at trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court, which concluded on 16 August 2016.

Bikram Singh Mahli was charged with gross negligence manslaughter and found guilty at trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court, which concluded on 16 August 2016. He was also charged with one Section 37 Health and Safety (HSWA) offence to which he pleaded guilty to at the start of trial. 

Ends

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