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REVERSING VAN CLAIMS LIFE OF PEDESTRIAN

Firm sentenced over failure to separate vehicles and people

EMC Contracts Ltd has been fined £130,000 following the death of a workman who was struck by a reversing van outside the entrance to the Odeon Cinema in Ashton-on-Ribble on 27 July 2010.

Carl Green, aged 45, was working on a project to fit out a new coffee shop in the cinema when the incident happened. He died from his injuries on the way to hospital

Preston Crown Court heard, during an 8 day trial, that EMC Contracts were engaged for a five-week project to fit a coffee shop in the foyer area of the cinema. A company van containing construction materials and was reversing outside the cinema when the van struck Mr Green.

HSE investigators found the company lacked control measures to keep vehicles separated from pedestrians thereby putting workers and members of the public in danger.

A written a method statement was prepared for the work identifying the risk of pedestrians being injured by vehicles as a main hazard. However, the company failed to state what measures should be taken to reduce or eliminate the risk.

Numerous measures could have eliminate or reduced 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 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 fulfil 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.”

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