Golf Manager Died In Bin Accident

Accident at Work

11.07.2008

The manager of a Cheshire golf club died when he fell as he attempted to close an industrial bin, an inquest has heard.

Matthew Cummins, 57, would regularly go out at night to pick up rubbish and lock gates at the High Legh Country Park and Golf Club in Warrington. However, on the morning of September 13 last year the father of two was found by his wife lying with a broken neck next to an industrial bin.

The inquest ruled that Mr Cummins had died trying to compact rubbish into the bin which had wheels and which moved while he was jumping on cardboard to compress it.

He tumbled head first into a wall and died from a broken neck, the inquest heard. He also sustained a fractured wrist trying to break his fall.

John Burgess, a handyman at the course, said he caught Mr Cummins three times trying to compact rubbish in the bins.

"I had a health and safety background and with glass in the bins there was an obvious danger, but the first time I had a go at him he just smiled," he said.

The inquest jury, sitting with the Cheshire coroner, recorded a verdict of accidental death.

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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "This was a terrible and tragic industrial accident.

"Employers have a duty to ensure workers are not injured or killed by falls at work.

"The golf course could and should have issued proper training to Mr Cummins and enforced a safe system of work.

"The fact that the inquest reached an accidental death verdict does not preclude a civil claim. The inquest is not permitted to attribute fault so cannot blame anyone in the verdict.

"I regularly pursue claims for damages for people injured or killed on work accidents; several such claims have followed accidental death verdicts."