The boss of a company that supplied a two-tonne stage door, which killed a singer and promoter when it fell, had a “casual approach to safety”, a court has heard.
Fisherman’s Friends singer Trevor Grills and the band’s promoter Paul McMullen were killed after a steel door, designed and manufactured by Express Hi-Fold Doors Limited, collapsed while they were unloading music equipment from their van.
Company denies health and safety breach
David Naylor, 57, director of Express Hi-Fold Doors Limited, denies two charges of manslaughter by gross negligence and the company denies a third charge of a breach of health and safety laws.
Mr Grills, a vocalist with the sea shanty group from Port Isaac in Cornwall, was hit by the door at the G Live theatre in Guildford on February 9 2013, hours before he was due to perform.
The 54-year-old died in hospital days later on February 12.
Mr McMullen, 44, from Disley in Stockport, died at the scene after being crushed under the bi-fold door and suffering leg injuries.
Similar doors had failed before
Prosecutor Zoe Johnson QC told a jury at Guildford Crown Court in Surrey that the type of door manufactured by the company are”unique” in the UK and have no “anti-drop safeguard”.
Ms Johnson says similar doors the firm has supplied have failed before.
She said: “The prosecution allege that Mr Naylor knew or ought to have known that there was a serious risk of a door such as this falling and possibly killing someone because prior to the event of 9 February, another of his doors had fallen, fortunately not killing anybody on those occasions.
“The prosecution alleges that the failure to have an anti-drop safeguard coupled with other evidence of earlier door collapses and this defendant’s rather casual approach to safety means that his conduct is so bad as to amount to the offence of gross negligence manslaughter.”
Ms Johnson says the door collapsed because two drive chains, linking the motor and gearbox to a drive shaft, failed. The failure of the drive chains disconnected the motor from the drive shaft and as a result the door fell.
The chains failed after a “misalignment of the drive sprockets” caused wear over time, she added.
The trial continues.
Source: ITV News
Date Published: October 22, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown