Fatal mobility scooter plunge through badly built barrier

Grant Prior 1 year ago
Share

The NHS Litigation Authority has been prosecuted after an 82 year old man fell 12 feet to his death from an elevated walkway outside a health centre.

hse fall
The scene of the fatal fall

Benjamin John Withers from Fareham in Hampshire died after the mobility scooter he was driving collided with a wooden weather screen which was situated around the main entrance and access bridge to Fareham Health centre.

The collision caused a section to give way and Withers and his mobility scooter fell through the gap onto a walkway below.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard that on 20th September 2012 Withers left the centre after attending an appointment and accidentally drove his mobility scooter forward into the side of the glazed screen instead of reversing away from it.

After the initial impact he then moved forward again and fell through the opening in the screen which had partially given way.

An HSE investigation found the barrier had not been constructed to the required standard to resist impact from a mobility scooter, no assessment had been made to consider the suitability of the weather screen and the structure had not been adequately maintained.

The investigation also found that the collapsed section was so badly decayed that portions of the wood could be easily removed by hand.

Planned maintenance work to replace the rotten wood had been cancelled and rescheduled on more than twenty occasions without ever being carried out.

NHS Litigation Authority of Buckingham Palace Road London, pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £15,000 costs

HSE Inspector Michael Baxter said: “This tragic incident could have easily been avoided if the barrier at Fareham Health Centre had met the well-known and established standards for design and construction of barriers and if the required maintenance had been carried out as soon as it was identified.

“Instead a family has lost a well-loved husband and father.

“Mobile scooters are being used increasingly, especially in pedestrian areas. Businesses need to appreciate this and ensure existing structures and barriers are re-assessed to ensure they are suitable for these machines.”

Latest news

Construction boss feared to be among helicopter crash victims

Police confirm five bodies have been found in wreckage
7 hours ago

Green light for £31m Greenwich creative quarter

Contractor to be appointed in July 2018 for Woolwich Creative District
4 hours ago

150 jobs lost as scaffolding group collapses

SHS founder Paul Smith loses fight to save group
14 hours ago

Mace wins £140m Mayfair resi scheme from Lodha

Former Canadian High Commission to be rebuilt brick-by-brick
12 hours ago

Wear bridge deck slide goes without a hitch

Farrans/Victor Buych JV completes 300m bridge slide in 20 hours
10 hours ago

Buckingham Group awaits crunch Bristol Arena verdict

Council meeting will decide whether to sign pre-construction deal or scale-down project
14 hours ago

CH2M pulls out of £170m HS2 deal following contract award row

Consultant withdraws as delivery partner just weeks after winning phase two deal
1 day ago

Heathrow secures £650m for post-Brexit airport upgrade

Qatar investors back expansion of Terminal 2 and new southern access tunnel
13 hours ago

Skills shortages force firms to ditch highways bids

Two thirds of roads specialists could fear having to turn down chances to tender
14 hours ago

Worker loses fingers in site mixer horror

Court hears how lack of guarding on mixer led to site accident on civils job
13 hours ago

Ex-Crossrail innovation boss joins Murphy

Will Reddaway takes up new role as head of innovation
14 hours ago

Bad weather delays opening of Queensferry Crossing

Construction completion put back by up to ten weeks to finish £790m scheme safely
1 day ago

Government hires Barratt boss to speed-up house building

Stephen Kinsella takes job as director of Homes and Communities Agency's accelerated construction unit.
1 day ago

Consultants win first 38 bundled highways schemes

£170m worth of highways design deals grouped into regional packages
2 days ago

VolkerStevin wants suppliers for £115m Dover port job

Subcontractors invited to meet the main construction team: Register now
1 day ago

Westinghouse files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Nuclear construction giant says UK operations will be unaffected by US financial problems
2 days ago

Bouygues off £1bn Battersea Power Station phase 3

Contractor and power station developer to part ways after pre-construction deal complete
2 days ago

Funding deal saves £35m Headingley stadium project

Council finds backer for Headingley Carnegie Stadium redevelopment
2 days ago

Biggin Hill Airport plans £15m expansion

Funding deal secured for construction of new offices, hangar and hotel
2 days ago

Anwyl gets go-ahead for £60m Liverpool tower

Site clearance is already underway for the 21-storey tower
2 days ago

Worker left with metal rods in his back after roof fall

Court hears how victim's harness was not attached to anything
2 days ago

TfL invites bids for South Ken tube station revamp

Transport for London seeks development partner for station upgrade
2 days ago

E-gloves to warn workers of vibration white finger risk

Tiny sensors are embedded in the material of the smart gloves
2 days ago

Work stopped on £106m O’Rourke cancer hospital

Machinery removed from Liverpool site as work suspended after piling phase
3 days ago

All-clear for first concrete on Hinkley nuclear station

Regulator approves first nuclear concrete construction at Hinkley Point C
3 days ago

TClarke posts profit surge despite fraud hit

Business booming at M&E giant as legal action continues to recover swindled millions
3 days ago

Redrow abandons Bovis merger talks

Galliford Try still in discussions with Bovis board
3 days ago

Severfield chief takes temporary leave

Ian Lawson temporarily steps down due to ill health
3 days ago

Profits power ahead at precast specialist FP McCann

Sparkling set of results as deal to buy Laing O'Rourke factory finalised
3 days ago

Lendlease launches “Futurehomes” in London

South London homes to combine Victorian style with Passivhaus standards
3 days ago

Contractor services