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Company Fined After Death Of Lift Engineer In Heathrow Work Accident

Man Crushed To Death In Incident


Lift manufacturer Schindler Ltd has been fined over £300,000 in relation to a fatal work accident at Heathrow in 2007 in which a worker was crushed to death.

Engineer Kevin Dawson died during the construction of Terminal 5A at the airport, when he was working from a ladder within the pit of a lift shaft and a colleague used a newly-installed lift car to fetch equipment.

The operation of the lift car meant a counterweight descended, crushing the worker and causing him fatal injuries.

Investigations by the Health and Safety Executive found that the passenger lift was used by workers despite it missing key safety components. In addition, the firm’s communication arrangements were ineffective and workers were often forced to communicate by shouting up and down the shaft.

There was also no evidence that Schindler had identified the potential risks in relation to work in the area.

Natasha Lewis, a solicitor and expert in workplace injury at Irwin Mitchell, said: “This is a truly shocking example of the dangers which can emerge when employers fail to take adequate steps to guarantee the health and safety of workers.

“Businesses need to do their utmost to ensure that their staff are able to carry out their duties in the safest possible manner, with the right training, tools and general support at their disposal.

“Like so many cases which we act in, this shows why we continually call for employers to meet their responsibilities in this area. The consequences of failing to do so are simply too great for this issue to be ignored.”

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.