The District Prosecutor has charged a temporary personnel agency owner for endangerment and for breaking fire safety laws, RÚV reports. The charge states that he installed living quarters in an industrial building he owned in Smiðshöfði and that this was done without the necessary permits and without the necessary fire safety precautions
The charge states that the police had the Reykjavík fire brigade assess fire safety in the building in February, two years ago. By then, people had been living there for three months. The assessment found that there was no compartmentalisation that would prevent the spread of a fire or smoke, escape routes were insufficient, interior walls and living spaces were of flammable materials, the state of electrical wiring was an unacceptable fire hazard, and operation in the building also carried a risk of ignition.
The District Prosecutor considers that the man was risking the health and lives of 24 of his staff, for profit and in an unscrupulous manner. The man lives in Norway and that the charge was issued in early October. The court case will be filed next week.
The living conditions of foreign workers have been in the public discussion following the fatal fire at Bræðraborgarstígur last June. Efling union CEO told RÚV that the union increasingly had to help workers whose housing was dependent on their employer.