Butler crushed to death when faulty lift fell on his head

A butler was crushed to death when a faulty lift fell on his head at one of Britain’s most iconic stately homes, a court has heard.

Arthur Mellar was helping to free the jammed lift at Burghley House in Stamford when it fell down trapping his head and shoulders underneath a bar.

Peterborough Crown Court heard how a number of members of staff had managed to lift the bar enough to free the 47-year-old, however his head had turned blue and there were no signs of life.

Burghley House features in a number of TV series and films, including The Da Vinci Code and the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

The trust that helps maintain the stately home was yesterday fined £266,000 after admitting health and safety breaches.

FILE PICTURE - Interior view of Burghley house in Stamford, Lincs. Butler Arthur Mellar was crushed to death in a luggage lift at Burghley House in Stamford, Lincs. See MASONS story MNBUTLER: Burghley House Preservation Trust to be sentenced over death of butler Arthur Mellar who was crushed to death in faulty lift while collecting luggage.

Burghley house in Stamford featured in a number of TV series and films including The Da Vinci Code (Picture: Masons)

The court heard how trapped luggage had jammed the lift and Mr Mellar had been asked to help free it.

However, when the luggage was moved the lift fell down the shaft as there was no safety measure to prevent it from doing so.

Prosecuting on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive, Mr Jamas Hodivala said the lift should have been fitted with a slack rope detection device which would have prevented the accident from happening in July 2014.

The lift was not accessible to the public, but was used by various members of staff including the cleaners as well as to transport guest luggage.

The court heard there are four other lifts in the private living area of the home, but the luggage lift was the only one of its kind in the building.

 

FILE PICTURE - Butler Arthur Mellar (middle) who was crushed to death in a luggage lift at Burghley House in Stamford, Lincs. See MASONS story MNBUTLER: Burghley House Preservation Trust to be sentenced over death of butler Arthur Mellar who was crushed to death in faulty lift while collecting luggage.

Arthur Mellar (middle) was a popular and much valued member of staff (Picture: Masons)

Burghley House Preservation Trust also did not conduct a safety risk assessment on the lift, which the crown said would have resulted in the lack of a safety device in place being spotted.

Defending the trust, Ms Sarah Le Fevre, said Mr Mellar was much loved and valued.

She said: ‘His loss has been keenly felt by all those who knew him, who worked with him and who loved him.

‘The trust deeply and sincerely regrets the events and the circumstances that led to his death.’

She continued: ‘The year 2014 will always be remembered by Burghley House as the year that Arthur Mellar died.

‘He was the most loyal, conscientious employee, supportive to those that worked with him, absolutely dedicated to his job and the trust.

 

FILE PICTURE - Exterior view of Burghley house in Stamford, Lincs. Butler Arthur Mellar was crushed to death in a luggage lift at Burghley House in Stamford, Lincs. See MASONS story MNBUTLER: Burghley House Preservation Trust to be sentenced over death of butler Arthur Mellar who was crushed to death in faulty lift while collecting luggage.

The Burghley House Prevention Trust pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the welfare of their employee (Picture: Masons)

‘He is much mourned, he is much missed.’

Following the sentencing, Estates Director at Burghley House, David Pennell, said: “Health and Safety matters have always been paramount across all activities at Burghley and what happened to Arthur Mellar in July 2014 was a dreadful and tragic accident.

‘I know that I speak for all of us at Burghley when I say how much we miss him and our thoughts are with Gerwin and Arthur’s family at this time.’

The Burghley House Preservation Trust, which is responsible for the preservation and showing, earlier this month pleaded guilty to one count of failing to ensure the welfare of their employee.

The Trust admitted failing to discharge a duty under Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, contrary to Section 33 (1) of the Health and Safety Act 1974.

Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2017/02/27/butler-crushed-to-death-when-faulty-lift-fell-on-his-head-6476928/#ixzz4a9bCRzug

Source: Metro

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