£130k fine over Chorley worker death

ACCIDENT SITE: The Odeon Cinema, Preston

ACCIDENT SITE: The Odeon Cinema, Preston

First published in Chorley

A building firm has been fined £130,000 over the death of a worker while he was working at a cinema.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted EMC Contracts Ltd after father-of-one Carl Green, of Stump Lane, Chorley, was struck by a reversing van in a paved area outside the entrance to the Odeon Cinema, Preston in July 2010.

The 45-year-old painter had been 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 During an eight-day-trial, Preston Crown Court was told EMC Contracts had been hired for a five-week project to fit a coffee shop in the foyer area of the cinema, on Port Way.

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 did not have any control measures in place to keep vehicles involved in the construction work away from pedestrians outside the cinema.

Emma Prescott, the mother of Mr Green’s daughter, Morgan, said: “Our daughter was seven when Carl lost his life, and it continues to have a huge effect on her. Fathers’ Day, Christmas and Carl’s birthday are very difficult times.

“She should be doing all the lovely things children do with their dads but she can’t. Both our lives have been turned upside down and they will never be the same again.”

EMC Contracts Ltd, which has been put into voluntary liquidation, was found guilty of two breaches.

The company, of Faraday Court in Fulwood, Preston, was fined £130,000 and ordered to pay £52,790 in prosecution costs.

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.

“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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