Company Fined Over Bridgewater Canal Death

Man Suffered Major Head Injuries In Fall

01.10.2012

Salford firm Worsley Dry Docks Ltd has been fined after admitting to safety breaches in relation to the death of a canal boat owner at a dry dock on the Bridgewater Canal in May 2010.

Richard Ferris suffered major head injuries when he slipped and fell head first on to the concrete floor at The Boatyard in Worsley in May 2010. He died in hospital later in the day.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive revealed that the wooden board leading to his boat had not been secured, which meant Mr Ferris lost balance and fell nearly two and a half metres to the floor of the dry dock.

The company was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs in relation to the incident, while it has since ensured all of the planks at the site have been properly secured before use.

Stephen Nye, a Partner who specialises in public liability claims at Irwin Mitchell, said it was vital that other dry dock firms also learn lessons from the incident.

He said: “This another worrying example of a fatal accident which could and should have been avoided. The installation and provision of the right equipment would have played a huge part in keeping this victim safe, but tragically this did not happen.

“While this firm has highlighted that it has learned lessons from this awful incident, we would urge similar organisations to ensure that safety standards at their own sites are meeting an adequate standard.

“Taking such steps and reviewing existing measures should ensure that a death of this shocking kind will not be repeated again.”

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