A dad-of-two who’d gone to watch his son play football died after his car hit a swing barrier at a sports ground, a court heard.
The horizontal barrier gate at the Foxhills sports ground’s car park in Scunthorpe, swung into a hazardous position after being opened earlier without being properly secured, Hull Crown Court was told.
Accident ‘easily avoidable’
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says the fatal accident was one which could have easily been avoided.
Andrew Matthews, 51, died in August 2012 after driving his car towards the barrier. But as he did so its horizontal end section went through his windscreen and hit him on the head.
North Lincolnshire Council admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act. It was fined £160,000 and ordered to pay costs totalling £40,476.
HSE Principal Inspector Chris Gallagher says the accident and its outcome was “horrific” and “tragic”. He say it had been an incident that could have been “so easily” prevented.
‘Similar accidents have claimed lives’
He says the gate barrier should have been properly secured when it was open. That would have ensured that it did not swing into Mr Matthews’ path in a way that he could not see it as his car approached.
The inspector says a significant number of people have been killed or injured in similar swing parking barrier accidents at retail parks, leisure facilities and industrial premises.
He says it is vital suitable measures are put in place to ensure that the barriers can be secured – preferably with a padlock — to fixing posts when they are either open or shut to prevent them swinging open.
Suitable risk assessments should also be conducted to ensure that any potential hazards are pinpointed, Mr Gallagher said.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: September 16, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown