A DAD-OF-SIX died after falling into a cardboard crusher while allegedly working for just £3-an-hour at a recycling site, an inquest heard.
Gul Daad Khan, 36, was working long hours at a site in Digbeth, Birmingham, when the horror accident with the baling machine occurred on October 12, 2016.
The 36-year-old, who was an illegal immigrant, was allegedly working six days a week, 11 hours a day and was getting paid just £35 – around £3.18 per hour – in poor conditions.
The inquest last year was told many safety features on the baler had been disabled, no risk assessments had been carried out and no safety equipment was offered to employees.
No one has faced any action over his death in an industry which has seen at least 19 workers killed since 2017.
His story is only now being told, reports The Birmingham Mail.
Mr Khan climbed on top of the baler used to crush carboard after it had become blocked, but fell into the machine and was crushed.
The details of the tragedy were revealed at the inquest which stated the official cause of death as “crush asphyxia”.
In his written record of inquest, then-assistant coroner James Bennett said: “The baler had become blocked due to overloading with cardboard.
“In an attempt to clear the blockage, the deceased climbed onto the top of the baler. He fell into the machine, which then continued to operate.”
The coroner listed a string of “contributory” issues to the death.
He said: “Many safety features of the baler had been disabled. The baler had not been maintained.”
The coroner added there was no training, no risk assessments, no “safe work systems”, and no safety equipment provided for workers.
Mr Khan’s former flatmate and work colleague Gulbacha Yousafhail had a statement read out at the inquest and talked about the working conditions.
He told the court he was illiterate, did not even know the address of the site and described the poor pay and working hours.
From their wages he and Mr Khan paid £100 each per month for a shared rented room in Lozells.
Both had been working at the work site for around three years.
Gulbacha said: “Nobody was given any training in this factory. I was never given any training and never told or advised anything about the health and safety.
“I was just given a jacket to wear and that’s it.”
He added: “I was cleaning and Gul Daad was working on the machine. Then suddenly people started screaming that Gul Daad got hurt. When I arrived there he was already dead.”
He said he believed Mr Khan was hit by a conveyor belt which ran the machine, a belt he said his former colleague had previously repaired.
Talking about his lost friend, Gulbacha told the inquest: ”I lived with Gul Daad for long time and he was a healthy and perfect person and as far as I know he didn’t have any medical problem.
“He never drank alcohol because we are Muslim.”
The inquest heard the machine was being leased from Cardboard 4 Cash by Mr Recycle Ltd.
Both were served with improvement notices on November 2, 2016 and a further six prohibition notices between November 3-11 in 2016 under health and safety at work legislation, provision and use of work equipment and electricity regulations.
The orders included banning the use of the baling machine “until such time as it has been subject to a thorough examination and maintenance check by a competent person”.
The companies were also banned from using some fork lift trucks until safety examinations took place.
A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive said: “The investigation into the incident is ongoing and HSE continues to support and liaise with West Midlands Police who retain primacy of the investigation, in accordance with the Work Related Death Protocol.
“As the investigation is live, we are unable to comment further at this time.”