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Preston building company fined over worker’s death

Posted on - 7th March, 2014 - 3:36pm | Author - | Posted in - Ashton-on-Ribble, News

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A Preston building firm has been sentenced over a death and fined £130,000.

The Heath and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted EMC Contracts Ltd of Bamber Bridge after Carl Green was struck by a van reversing in a paved area outside the entrance to Odeon Cinema at Preston Docks on 27 July 2010.

The 45-year-old painter from Chorley died from his injuries on the way to hospital. He had been working on a project to fit out a new Costa Coffee shop at the cinema in Ashton-on-Ribble when the incident happened.

During an eight-day-trial, Preston Crown Court was told one of EMC’s employees had unloaded his van of construction materials and was reversing it to park up outside the cinema when it struck Mr Green, who was crossing behind it.

An HSE investigation found the company had no safety measures in place to keep vehicles involved in the construction work away from pedestrians outside the cinema. As a result, both members of the public and workers had been put at risk.

The company had written a method statement for the work, which identified the risk of pedestrians being injured by vehicles as a main hazard. However, they failed to state what measures should be taken to reduce or eliminate the risk.

EMC Contracts Ltd, which has been put into voluntary liquidation, was found guilty of two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company, of Faraday Court in Fulwood, was fined £130,000 and ordered to pay £52,790 in prosecution costs on 5 March 2014.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Susan Ritchie said: “Carl Green tragically lost his life because the company that employed him didn’t fulfill its responsibilities to ensure his health and safety.

“The work at the cinema was carried out during the school holidays – at a time when children and their parents would have been watching the summer blockbusters.

“Despite this, EMC did not take any action to ensure its vehicles operated safely on the paved area in front of the cinema, therefore putting members of the public and its own employees in danger.

“There were numerous measures the company could have implemented to either eliminate or reduce the risk of collision, such as prohibiting vehicles from reversing or avoiding using its vehicles outside the cinema entrance altogether.

“These measures could have been implemented with little cost but the company still failed to act. As a result, a man lost his life.”

Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”

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