Lives turned upside down

Carl Green
Carl Green

The partner of a dad killed working outside a cinema has said the family’s lives will never be the same again.

Preston firm EMC Contracts Ltd has now been fined £130,000 over the death of employee Carl Green, after it was found guilty of health and safety breaches.

Painter and decorator Mr Green, 45, of Chorley, was struck by a reversing van in a pedestrian area at the front of the Odeon cinema in Port Way, Preston, in July 2010. He died on the way to hospital.

A jury at Preston Crown Court watched “chilling” CCTV footage which showed children and parents crossing the pedestrian area on foot on the day Mr Green was killed.

A statement prepared by EMC before starting work to install a coffee shop at the Odeon outlined a risk to pedestrians from traffic – but the firm failed to take any steps to reduce or eliminate the risk.

EMC was this week convicted of two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company, of Faraday Court, Fulwood, was fined £130,000 and ordered to pay £52,790 in prosecution costs.

Emma Prescott, who had a daughter, Morgan, with Mr Green, said: “Our daughter was seven when Carl lost his life and it continues to have a huge effect on her. Father’s Day, Christmas and Carl’s birthday are very difficult times.

“She should be doing all the lovely things children do with dads but she can’t.

“Both our lives have been turned upside down and they will never be the same again.”

The court heard following the accident, steps were taken by the company to eliminate traffic from the site completely.

A report, prepared by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Steven Parncutt, outlined a number of “reasonable and practicable” steps which could have been taken from the outset of the work, including separating traffic and pedestrians with barriers or having a banksman to supervise vehicles as they reversed on site.

James McKeon, prosecuting, told the jury: “Absolutely nothing was done. Nothing at all was done to comply with its requirements and to comply with its fundamental duties under the Health and Safety Act.

“You have seen the way vehicles were allowed to drive anywhere they wished and you have seen EMC vans coming and going throughout that area.

“They had a duty. There was clearly a risk to employees and non-employees and the company did not take any steps at all.”

EMC Contracts has since been put into voluntary liquidation.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Susan Ritchie said: “Carl Green tragically lost his life because the company that employed him didn’t fulfil its responsibilities to ensure his health and safety.

“The work at the cinema was carried out during the school holidays – at a time when children and their parents would have been watching the summer blockbusters.

“Despite this, EMC did not take any action to ensure its vehicles operated safely on the paved area in front of the cinema, therefore putting members of the public and its own employees in dangers.

“There were numerous measures the company could have implemented to either eliminate or reduce the risk of collision, such as prohibiting vehicles from reversing or avoiding using its vehicles outside the cinema entrance altogether.

“These measures could have been implemented with little cost but the company still failed to act. As a result, a man lost his life.”

EMC declined to comment.