Fatal mobility scooter plunge through badly built barrier

Grant Prior 2 years 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

Strike threat looms over Hinkley Point pay row

Job "will not be built on the cheap" warn unions
9 hours ago

Civil engineers vote “yes but” to keeping the CITB

Trade body backs skills group after £385,000 grant
15 hours ago

Betting Spy: Footballer pulls out with shaving rash

New low for the modern game while Leicester v Liverpool should be a goal fest
8 hours ago

Kier suffers £86m hit on Hong Kong and Caribbean exit

Kier returns to profit and closes out problem Hong Kong and Caribbean contracts
20 hours ago

Stalled Liverpool developer sells £3.85m Banksys

North Point Global cashes in
21 hours ago

Offsite specialist McAvoy wins Essex school job

First of more than 60 modules to arrive on site next month
20 hours ago

Demolition worker crushed by excavator

Court hears how worker left with punctured lungs and liver
21 hours ago

Plans for £300m Edgbaston mixed-use scheme approved

New Garden Square scheme gets green light
20 hours ago

F M Conway buys into Suffolk blacktop firm

Civils firm buys stake in road surfacing specialist Toppesfield
21 hours ago

Mitie to sell property management division

Cost cutting programme continues as another 480 jobs set to go
2 days ago

Police to quiz 336 firms in wake of Grenfell fire

Detectives comb through millions of documents and forensically examine tower in minute detail
3 days ago

Developer buys unfinished Leeds hotel project

Unfinished GB Building hotel project to be redeveloped as student flats
2 days ago

Profits double as Alun Griffiths revenue soars

Strong growth in rail work lifts Abergavenny contractor
2 days ago

Robertson gets go-ahead for £23m Inverness Justice Centre

Contractor Robertson due to start work this autumn
2 days ago

Durkan to start on £110m resi scheme in Ilford

Britannia Music Site scheme will contain 30% affordable homes
2 days ago

Galliford Try to fit-out HSBC Birmingham HQ

Galliford lands £20m+ deal at complex where it was main contractor
2 days ago

Arcadis to develop A66 TransPennine scheme

£1.7m contract to develop A66 Northern TransPennine proposals
2 days ago

Lovell set for £45m Hatfield regeneration scheme

Detailed plans will be submitted early next year for homes and shops
3 days ago

McAlpine JV wins £160m London mental health project

NHS land for 800 homes to be sold to fund Springfield and Tolworth mental health schemes
3 days ago

Plans go in for £350m scheme in Beaconsfield

Inland Homes makes progress on 100 acre Wilton Park site
3 days ago

Billington ramps up steelwork capacity as orders surge

New Shafton production facility to come on stream in January
3 days ago

66 firms win places on Fusion21 £90m framework

Full list of winning consultants on latest four-year deal from procurement body
3 days ago

Osborne bags Stockport Mersey Bridge

Phase of of £41m Stockport Interchange to start in April
3 days ago

Plan for £60m Strathclyde Uni teaching hub

The BDP designed building is the University's largest single project spend to date
3 days ago

Murphy sells stake in Australian infrastructure business

Cash raised will help civils specialist hit £2.5bn turnover target by 2025
4 days ago

Eric Wright warns Manchester market overheated

Lancashire builder suffers loss for second year running
4 days ago

Developer and foreman jailed after death of carpenter

Pair found guilty on manslaughter charges after fatal fall on Brighton site
4 days ago

Teesside Uni plans £300m campus expansion

Middlesbrough and Darlington campuses to be expanded in ambitious masterplan
4 days ago

£1bn London docklands scheme developer named

London & Regional Properties to redevelop Albert Island
4 days ago

Network Rail to overhaul tunnel re-lining methods

Industry called up to design faster, more efficient way to repair Victorian tunnels
4 days ago

Contractor services