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FIRM PROSECUTED OVER LIFT SHAFT FATAL FALL

Property company failed to take steps to prevent self-rescue

A property management company has been fined £120,000 after a resident of Marsden House in Bolton died after falling down a lift shaft in August 2014.

Bolton Crown Court heard how 29-year-old Craig Jones and a friend were trapped in a lift and unable to raise the alarm. They attempted a self-rescue by forcing the doors open and sliding out onto the floor below.

Craig Jones slipped under the lift car and fell five stories down the lift shaft where he died of multiple injuries. His friend escaped unhurt.

HSE investigators found that Warwick Estates Property Management Limited (the management company for the building) failed to take suitable and sufficient steps to prevent Craig and his friend self-rescuing.

Problems with lift were well-known

Warwick Estates Property Management Limited, of Edinburgh Way, Harlow, Essex, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay costs of £45,000.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Sarah Taylor said:

“Those who manage lifts have a responsibility to ensure they are properly maintained but if people are trapped they have a way to raise the alarm and are not in a position to try and rescue themselves.

The problems with this lift were well known and if Warwick Estates Property Management Ltd had fulfilled their health and safety responsibilities Craig Jones would probably be around to celebrate Christmas with his family this weekend.”

 

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