28 September 2012
Family to take legal action against Salford company?
Compensation may be sought by the family of a man who passed away at a dry dock on the Bridgewater Canal.
Father-of-four and Grandfather-of-nine Richard Ferris sustained critical injuries after slipping on a plank and fell head first on to the concrete floor below at The Boatyard in Worsley in May 2010.
The owner of the site - Worsley Dry Docks - was ordered to pay £50,000 following its prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following an investigation, which found the wooden board leading to his boat was not secure.
A hearing at Manchester Crown Court found the 61-year-old and his wife had taken their narrow boat to the dry dock to carry out maintenance work to the underneath while it was out of the water.
The victim was attempting to cross from his boat to the side of the dock as he stepped on to the plank, which began to move. Mr Ferris lost his balance and plummeted nearly two and a half metres to the floor of the dock.
Although emergency services were called to the scene, the 61-year-old had suffered major head injuries and died as a result.
An investigation carried out by the HSE following the incident found Worsley Dry Docks failed to provide suitable access to users of the dry docks to allow them to move to and from their boats.
The company has since ensured the planks at the dry dock have hand rails and that they are properly secured before being utilised.
Speaking after the hearing, Mr Ferris's widow, Pat, said: "Richard was a loving husband, father and grandfather, and also my soul mate.
"He died as the result of the actions, or rather inactions, of Worsley Dry Docks. As a result, I have lost my husband, my home and my whole way of life. Our children have lost a father, a confidant and an advisor."
Posted by Chris Stevenson
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