After a domestic servant has been crushed to death by a lift, one of Britain’s most iconic stately homes, has been sentenced.
Arthur Mellar, 48, a butler at Burghley House in Stamford was killed on the 12th of July 2014. A luggage lift fell onto Mr Mellar while he was attempting to free an item of luggage which had been stuck.
This sad case highlights the importance to businesses who use lifts, particularly older lifts, to have them correctly checked and maintained. It is also important that competent engineers are employed when necessary to help identify any defects.
Although this will not have any comfort on the family of Mr Mellar, this tragic incident could have been avoided if Burghley House employed lift engineers to check the equipment. Indeed this is a legal requirement under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998, which state that any lifting equipment used for supporting people must undergo statutory examination every six months. This includes any associated accessories used to lift people.
Burghley House Preservation Trust Limited, whose registered office is 61 St Martins, Stamford, Lincolnshire, pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and were fined £266,000 and ordered to pay costs of £16,863. The Regulations stated above support this Act and provide more specific requirements that relate to lifting equipment and accessories, to help employers interpret what the “general duties” of the Act mean in practice.
The important thing to take notice from this case is that when following a safe system, and ensuring all equipment has been correctly checked, tragedies like this one can be easily avoided.
For further information, advice or to arrange for an independent examination of any lifting equipment please go to www.safeinspect.co.uk or call 01622 715353