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Kent contractor fined £20,000 after worker crushed by lift

7 Jun 10 A Kent construction company is to pay out £45,000 in fines and costs after one of its workers was crushed to death by a lift.

A Kent construction company is to pay out £45,000 in fines and costs after one of its workers was crushed to death by a lift.

Andrew Bates, 40, was working as a subcontractor for J Brown Services on a lift refurbishment project at a surveyors' firm in Mayfair on 6 December 2005 when the accident happened.

The court heard that the worker was caught between the top of the lift, where he was working, and the top of a fourth floor landing door, after damage to a cable had caused the lift to shoot suddenly upwards.

A scream was heard coming from the lift shaft and Bates was found trapped. Although he was later released by firefighters, the worker did not respond to treatment and was pronounced dead later that afternoon.

An investigation found that Bates had been using a hand-held controller to operate the lift, but a cable from the controller snagged on a bolt in the lift shaft, causing it to break and two of the wires to short, leading to an "unexpected upward movement".

The court heard that Bates was probably trying to escape from the top of the lift by the landing door when he was caught between them.

J Brown was fined £20,000 and also ordered to pay £25,000 in costs.

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