Property firm fined £120k over man’s death

A Bolton property management firm has been fined £120,000 after a resident died after falling down a lift shaft.

29-year-old Craig Jones and a friend were trapped in a lift at Marsden House and were unable to raise the alarm. They attempted to force the doors open and slide out onto the floor below, but Mr Jones slipped under the lift car and fell five storeys down the shaft, dying of multiple injuries. His friend was unhurt.

Businesses should ensure they have a sufficient level of employers’ liability insurance to help cover them if they are prosecuted for an incident at work.

Bolton Crown Court heard that Warwick Estates Property Management Limited had failed to take suitable and sufficient steps to prevent Craig and his friend self-rescuing.

The company 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.”