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Tragedy boss fined pounds 25,000; OLDBURY/SMETHWICK: Worker fell to death through skylight.

Byline: By Dale Williams

A SANDWELL firm has been fined pounds 25,000 by magistrates following the death of a worker from Birmingham.

Surjit Singh Kundi, aged 53, who runs Oldbury-based Kundi Electrical, pleaded guilty to charges of failing to ensure the safety of workers and others.

He was also ordered to pay more than pounds 2,000 in prosecution costs.

Georgina Speake, prosecuting for the Health and Safety Executive, said the investigation into the company's practices was as the result of the death of 62-year-old Satnam Singh, of Rookery Road, Handsworth.

Mr Singh had been taken on by another Kundi Electrical employee as a helper on a roofing job.

Mrs Speake told West Bromwich magistrates yesterday afternoon that repair work to an industrial premises in Alma Street, Smethwick, had been necessary following a break-in.

She said Kundi Electrical had initially fixed the damage and had been called back to the building to repair a recurrent leak. As Mr Singh made his way across the fragile roofing on April 20 last year, he plunged 20ft through a skylight.

Debris narrowly missed a horrified worker on the factory floor below, Mrs Speake told the court.

Mr Singh died later that day in hospital after suffering severe head injuries.

Mrs Speake said the dangers of walking across such roofing, which was constructed from asbestos cement sheets, were well documented.

"Mr Kundi had not undertaken a risk assessment, or given any instructions for employees."

In mitigation, the court was told that Mr Kundi did not realise Mr Singh had been employed as a helper, and had no idea he was on the roof on the day of the tragedy.

Magistrates also heard that Mr Kundi, who employs six people including his wife, had a good safety record and had since taken his health and safety responsibilities more seriously.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Feb 12, 2008
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