Everton stadium death: ventilation engineer suffered head injury

The worker who died while working on Everton Football Club’s new stadium was a ventilation engineer who was crushed between a scissor ladder and a beam, according to reports.

The Liverpool Echo reported that the inquest into the death of 26-year-old Michael Jones (pictured) opened at Liverpool Coroners Court on Wednesday (30 August).

Coroner André Rebello said: “Michael had been operating a machine commonly known as a scissor ladder. He was caught between the beam above him and the machine,” according to the local newspaper.

Rebello described how another worker noticed the machine had stopped moving and climbed onto it to release Jones, the Echo said.

The inquest was told that the engineer, who was working for subcontractor Mersey Vent, was found to have severe head injuries. Jones had been wearing a hard hat but it was badly damaged, according to the newspaper report.

Police and the Health and Safety Executive are looking into the circumstances of what happened.

According to the Echo, Rebello said: “This is a very complex and technical investigation that will take some time.”

As previously reported on Construction News, main contractor Laing O’Rourke suspended work on the Bramley Moore-Dock job for nine days following the tragic incident.

Jones, whose middle name was Goodison after the ground where Everton currently play, was a big fan of the football club. His girlfriend and her father work for Everton on match days.

Colin Chong, Everton’s interim chief executive and a former project leader at Laing O’Rourke, announced last week that a memorial to Jones will be created at the new stadium.

Gareth Jacques, Laing O’Rourke’s project director for Everton Stadium, said: “Michael was a valued member of our Everton Stadium project team and was liked and respected by everyone from Laing O’Rourke who worked alongside him. He took great pride in what he did and, being a huge Everton fan, I know he was really excited about working on the stadium.

“We will do all we can to support his family and our wider project team at Everton who are all shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic incident.”

Mersey Vent is a Widnes-based ductwork specialist that employs 19 people, according to its latest published accounts.

Leon Baker, a director at the company, said: “Everyone at Mersey Vent has been deeply saddened by the death of Michael Jones and our thoughts are with his family and friends.

“The circumstances of this tragic incident are currently being investigated by the police and the HSE with our full support and cooperation. As the investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further.”

Laing O’Rourke took possession of Bramley-Moore Dock in July 2021 and the 52,888-capacity stadium project is set for completion in December 2024.

CN visited the site recently to report about progress on the £555m job.

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