Suspended sentence after mechanic crushed beneath bus
16th December 2019
On 14 June 2017 Wayne Lannon was fatally crushed while working underneath a double-decker bus in the car park of Chester Zoo when the bus rolled over and trapped him.
Crewe Magistrates Court was told that the 46-year-old employee of Brian Finch, trading as F E Coaches, was carrying out repairs under the bus.
The bus had been supported by a hydraulic bottle jack and Lannon had placed some wooden blocks underneath the stationary bus. The bus rolled backwards off the bottle jack, trapping the mechanic under the bus, resulting in him sustaining fatal injuries.
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigators found that the company did not have a safe system of work in place for preventing the bus from moving. The bus parking brake had not been applied before Lannon went under the bus and the bus was not chocked to prevent it from rolling off the jack.
Finch also failed to provide training and instructions to Lannon in mechanical work or safe lifting of vehicles, and about the type of repairs that were suitable to be made outside of the workshop, prosecutors said.
Finch, trading as Finch Coaches, pleaded guilty to breaching s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. He was sentenced to six months custody, suspended for 18 months, and subject to an evening curfew for 30 weeks. He was also ordered to pay full costs of £9,381.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Lianne Farrington said: after the hearing, "This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of Mr Finch to ensure there were adequate control measures in place, such as chocking the bus, and to implement safe systems of work.
"Had the company ensured that proper control measures were in place, Mr Lannon would not have lost his life."