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  3. Barefoot workers spotted on construction site

A company has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for unsafe working practices, including allowing workers on site in bare feet without any protective workwear.

Neighbours in Manchester next to a construction site were shocked to see men not wearing protective footwear as they worked on rough ground while building a new home. One neighbour said:

"When we did see people working on there they had no shoes, no boots, no protective equipment. It just saddened me really as they were just young lads and they weren't being properly protected. It was an accident waiting to happen really."

Neighbours were annoyed by loud music being played on the site and the length of time the project was taking, which was approaching five years. 

The neighbours' concerns were reported to the HSE, who have prosecuted the person in charge of the construction site, Mustapha Matib. At a hearing in Manchester Magistrates Court, HSE inspectors reported that no risk assessments had been prepared for the construction site and Matib had failed to hire a safety manager with sufficient knowledge of how to protect the health and safety of workers on the site. They also found that Matib had the role of principal contractor even though he was not a builder. 

Matib was given a suspended prison sentence. After the court hearing, Phil Redman from the HSE said that inspectors will not hesitate to prosecute business owners who put the safety of their workers at risk.

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