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pounds 20,000 fine for crushed man firm.

A cleaning firm has been fined pounds 20,000 following an accident in which a 38-year-old Birmingham man died.

Paul Edwards, from Bartley Green, was killed when became trapped between a cherry picker cage and a roof girder as he was cleaning fire damage in a car showroom.

Merryhill Envirotech was fined pounds 20,000 with pounds 20,000 costs for not providing adequate staff training.

Mr Edwards apparently reversed the raised platform and got trapped between the safety cage and a girder at the garage in Swindon, Wiltshire.

Colleagues, including his brother and sister, tried frantically to release the father-of-two by using ground-based controls. But they could not move the cage because Mr Edwards's body was crushed on to the controls, keeping them switched on.

He was pronounced dead at the scene following the accident in November 2002.

Dale Collins, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court the Health and Safety Executive found a lack of staff training at the company. Supervisors knew how to operate other makes of cherry picker but not the one Mr Edwards was using and could not operate the safety systems.

Alexander Cameron, defending, said staff had received a level of training before the accident took place, but it had since been increased.

Judge John McNaught said if Mr Edwards's colleagues had lowered the cage sooner it would probably not have saved him.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Dec 23, 2004
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