Two construction companies have been prosecuted for health and safety failures that permitted the circumstances for a fatal accident to occur on 20th August 2006 during work on a dual carriageway section of the A5036 Princess Way in Seaforth, Liverpool.

A 61-year old employee of Amey Infrastructure Services Ltd (part of the Amey Mouchel joint venture with Mouchel Parkman Services Ltd) was replacing the lights on the central reservation when the mobile elevating work platform’s arm he was using to access them collapsed, causing him to fall 8 metres. He struck the back of the vehicle and sustained injuries from which he died hours later.

Investigation found that Amey Infrastructure Services Ltd and Mouchel Parkman Services Ltd had failed to implement adequate systems for checking and maintaining the cherry picker type elevating platform, when it was first delivered or throughout the hire period. Furthermore, it needed to be repaired on several occasions while it was on hire to the companies, and had been subjected to heavy use in all weather conditions for almost a decade.

An HSE official explained that given the equipment’s heavy usage and regular repair record, it demanded that inspection and maintenance procedures be carried out thoroughly because of the great risks involved in working at height.

At Liverpool Crown Court Amey Infrastructure Services Ltd of Oxford admitted breaching S.2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It had failed to ensure the safety of its employees and was fined £30,000 plus £32,500 in prosecution costs.

Mouchel Parkman Services Ltd of Oxford pleaded guilty to breaching S.3(1) of the same act for failing to ensure the deceased’s safety and was fined £30,000 with costs of £32,500.