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Council fined after man killed by swing barrier

Date:
11 September 2015

North Lincolnshire Council has been fined after a man died when his car drove into a horizontal swing barrier gate to a car park at a sports ground.

Hull Crown Court heard how, in August 2012, Andrew Matthews, aged 51 and a father of two, had gone to Foxhills sports ground in Scunthorpe to watch his son play football. The horizontal barrier had been opened earlier, but was not secured so it swung into a dangerous position.

As Mr Matthews drove his car towards the gate, the horizontal end section of the barrier went through the windscreen striking him on the head, causing fatal injuries.

North Lincolnshire Council, of Ashby Road, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire was fined a total of £160,000, and ordered to pay £40,476 in costs after pleading guilty to an offence under Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

HSE Principal Inspector Chris Gallagher said of the case: “The tragic loss of Mr Matthew’s life was a horrific incident that could so easily have been avoided. The barrier should have been secured whilst it was open so that it could not swing into his path in such a way that he was unable to see it as he drove towards it.

“A significant number of people have been killed or injured in incidents involving horizontal swing barriers in car parks used in retail, leisure and industrial premises. Duty holders should carry out a suitable risk assessment so that potential dangers are identified and suitable precautions are put in place. These include making sure such barriers can be locked open and shut to suitable fixing posts preferably with a padlock so they cannot swing open and present an impalement risk ”

For more information about barrier safety log onto the website at

http://www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport/barriers.htm

Notes to Editors: 

The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk 

More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: legislation.gov.uk/  

Further HSE news releases are available at press.hse.gov.uk

 

 

 

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