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FATAL FALL CAUSED BY UNSTABLE CHERRYPICKER

MEWP overturned during lighting erection on Manchester memorial

 

A neon-sign manufacturer and a company director have been fined after a workman died when the cherrypicker he was using overturned at the Albert Memorial statue in Manchester.

A lighting ‘necklace’ was being installed on the 140-year-old statue at the time of the incident in April 2007.

Cherry picker had not been stabilised properly

HSE investigators found that the cherry picker had not been properly stabilised before being used.

The workman incurred head and chest injuries and died in hospital the next day. A photographer, who was also on the platform, was knocked unconscious but made a full recovery.

Manchester Crown Court heard that Taylor Electronics had agreed to fit the necklace – a giant glowing cross – to the statue in Albert Square to promote a jewellery exhibition in Manchester Town Hall.

Defendant took unacceptable risks to achieve the job

HSE Inspector Sandra Tomlinson said: “Mr Gutteridge’s death has had a devastating impact on his family, and it could easily have been prevented by properly stabilising the cherry picker.

“Taylor Electronics agreed to carry out an unusual job to help publicise the jewellery exhibition, but it then took unacceptable risks to achieve it. Mr Gutteridge would still be alive today if the correct safety procedures had been followed.”

Only one of the four legs on the cherry picker vehicle had been fully extended, which made it dangerously unstable. I hope this tragic case will highlight how important it is for companies to treat health and safety seriously.”

Taylor Electronics, of Manchester, was fined £10k and ordered to pay costs of £8k. John Taylor, of Atherton, was fined £2k.

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