Firm Fined Over Wythenshawe Fall Death

A Logistics Company Has Been Hit With A £250,000 Fine Following A Fatal Accident Involving A Worker


Logistics firm Aramex has been hit with a £250,000 fine following a fatal accident at a warehouse in Wythenshawe, Manchester.

Michael Sweet died when he stepped on a fragile roof panel while cleaning out the guttering at the facility and fell through on to a concrete floor.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) subsequently brought a prosecution against Aramex and roofing contractor Gary Edwards, who employed Mr Sweet. Both parties pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

According to the regulator, Aramex failed to assess how the work would be carried out and did not supervise it, even though it knew the roof was weak.
Mr Edwards, meanwhile, was criticised for only providing his employee with a pair of gloves rather than a wider range of safety equipment, as well as for failing to take precautions such as using harnesses, putting up scaffolding or placing boards over the weak roof panels. He was therefore handed a four-month custodial sentence, suspended for a year.

Ian Betley, an inspector at the HSE, commented: "Companies and individuals have a legal duty to ensure the safety of workers they employ or who carry out work for them.

"If Aramex and Mr Edwards had taken their responsibilities seriously, then Michael's life could have been saved."

Mr Betley said Mr Edwards "failed to take any action" to safeguard his employee, despite the fact he knew the roof was potentially dangerous.

He added that Aramex had also been aware of the dangers posed by the roof but "simply left the two men to it", instead of assessing how the work should be performed and supervise processes throughout.

The fatal accident occurred at Aramex's warehouse on the Ringway Trading Estate, close to Manchester Airport, in December 2011.

Mr Edwards had completed work for Aramex previously and was hired on this occasion to repair a leak, as water had started dripping into the company's office and warehouse space.

If you have lost a loved one due to an accident at work, our serious injury solicitors could help you claim compensation to help get the answers you deserve. Visit our fatal accident claims or accidents at work claims page for more information.