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Building Firm Fined £130,000 after Fatal Work Accident

EMC Contracts Ltd, a building firm in North West England has been fined £130,000 over the death of a worker.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted EMC Contracts Ltd after father-of-one Carl Green, of Chorley, was struck down by a reversing van outside the entrance to the Odeon Cinema in 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 accident happened. He died from his injuries on the way to hospital. The matter came before Preston Crown Court at an 8 day trial when the Court heard that EMC Contracts had been hired for a 5 week project to fit a coffee shop in the foyer area of the Cinema. 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 into the work accident found the company did not have any control measures in place to keep construction vehicles away from pedestrians outside the Cinema.

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, the HSE made it clear that measures could have been implemented by the company with little cost but they failed to act. 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.

This is another example of a tragedy to a family that could have been avoided. Mr Green left behind a widow and a 7 year old daughter. Her father’s death continues to have a huge effect on her, her mum said. She reported that Fathers’ Day, Christmas and his birthday are very difficult times.

Compensation for fatal injuries will never really compensate, as in this case. Nevertheless, specialist lawyers can ensure that civil claims against the company provide some damages to the family in order to ensure future financial security.

Our Personal Injury Solicitors have dealt with fatal accident claims for more than 80 years. We represent people who have lost loved ones in fatal accidents ranging from car crashes to the attack on the World Trade Centre.

Tracey Graham is a Personal Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.

Slater and Gordon offer a free consultation for people injured in accidents through no fault of their own. Call freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we'll be happy to help.