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23rd January 2017

Property management company receives fine for elevator death

In December, a property management company was fined £120,000 after a 29 year old man passed away tragically after falling down a lift shaft. Upon investigation by the HSE, it was found that the man had been trapped inside the lift and struggled to escape, having been unable to raise the alarm.

Bolton Crown Court heard how Craig Jones, who was a resident of Marsden House in Bolton, and a friend, were stuck in a lift and were unable to raise an alarm to request help. They tried a self–rescue by pushing the doors open and sliding out into the floor below.

On 30 August 2014, Craig Jones glided under the lift car and dropped five stories down the lift shaft. He passed away of multiple injuries whilst his friend escaped unharmed.

HSE investigation

The investigation by the HSE established that Warwick Estates Property Management Limited (the management company for the building) hadn’t implemented sufficient systems to prevent the need for Craig and his friend to self–rescue.

Warwick Estates Property Management Limited, Essex, pleaded guilty to breaking Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Acts 1974. As a result, they were fined £120,000 and were ordered to pay £45,000 in court costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Sarah Taylor said: ‘Those who manage lifts have a responsibility to confirm they are properly maintained but if people are trapped they need to have a way to raise the alarm and are not in a position to try and rescue themselves.

‘The problems with this lift were well known. If Warwick Estates Property Management LTD had fulfilled their health and safety responsibilities, Craig Jones would probably be around to celebrate Christmas with his family.’

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