A SCAFFOLDING company from Ulverston has been fined £60,000 for failings which led to the death of a 37-year-old father of two.

Preston Crown Court heard that in March 2012, Andrew Bowes was a metal fabricator employed by Larkin Eng Services Ltd of Barrow who had contracted Cumbria Design Scaffold Ltd of Sandside Road in Ulverston to collect two large metal walkways from their premises on Meeting Industrial Estate in Barrow and deliver them to a customer using a flatbed lorry fitted with a mounted crane.

The court heard that the first walkway had been lifted onto the lorry but had not been fastened down.

When the crane moved to pick up the second walkway, a sling became snagged on the first walkway, causing it to fall from the back of the lorry onto Mr Bowes, who was killed.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation found Cumbria Design Scaffold Ltd had failed to properly plan the operation and failed to recognise the risks involved in what was a complex lift.

The company also failed to supervise the lifting operation properly and as a consequence, the lifting operation was poorly organised and controlled, placing those in the immediate vicinity at significant risk.

Cumbria Design Scaffold pleaded guilty to to breaching the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act and were fined £60,000 and were also ordered to pay £27,464.28 in costs.

Larkin Eng Services Ltd, who operate from Park Road Industrial Park in Barrow, also pleaded guilty to the same charge and were fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £27,211.09 in costs.

The Barrow company had directed Mr Bowes, who had only been working for them for a week, to become actively involved while the operation was taking place.

“We would like to thank Andrew’s family for their patience throughout what has been a complex investigation,” said HSE inspector Anthony Banks after the hearing.

“Companies should always ensure that lifting operations are properly planned, organised and conducted safely.

“Had this lifting operation been properly planned and supervised, then this tragedy could have been averted.

“HSE will take enforcement action against both clients and contractors who fail to meet the required standards.”

Mr Bowe was described by his widow Cheryl, 43, as a “bubbly and outgoing person” who was a “friend to everyone.”

“I’m glad to finally know what has happened after seven years,” she said.

“I’m still dealing with what happened every day.

“But now I feel with this decision, everyone can get on with their lives.

“I won’t be taking it any further.

“ I think we have all been through so much already.

“Now I feel we can all move on.

“I don’t hold any grudges against anyone for what has happened otherwise I would never be able to move on.

“There is no point in living with anger.”

A spokesman for Cumbria Design Scaffold Ltd said they did not have any comment to make following the court ruling.