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UK mast climber fatality - Updates 1, 2 & 3

We have finally been able to categorically confirm that the fatal fall from height incident in Liverpool, UK, on Wednesday involved a mast climbing work platform.

It seems that a 53 year old man, David Bottomley died at the scene, while his son Clayton 17, was rushed to hopsital,. They were working from the platform alongside the high rise Unity Building when it dropped rapidly. It sounds from local witness reports that the emergency overspeed locks either came in late or failed. The incident occurred behind the scaffold screening/netting, so details are still vague. The man died from his injuries while his son is in hospital in a critical condition. We understand that the platform is not a western built model, but we have no confirmation of that.

The Health & Safety Executive confirmed that it was indeed a mast climber and that they are still investigating the incident. Developers Laing O'Rouke are working on the buildings at the moment, but we are not yet aware of its connection, if any, to the incident.

A spokeswoman said: "We can confirm there was an incident at the Unity Building yesterday afternoon. Our health and safety team is at the site and we and our sub-contractors will cooperate fully with the investigation into what happened."
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Unity Buildings are home to the Liverpool Football Club offices

We will of course update this item when we learn more.

UPDATE we have received the tragic news that the 17 year old son has now also died from the injuries he sustain in the incident.

UPDATE 2 - July 2023

At a pre-inquest hearing, coroner Johanna Thompson announced the investigation would be held with a jury, as the law states this must occur when a death was caused by an accident, poisoning or disease reported to a government department or inspector.

Solicitors representing the Bottomley family, site contractors Laing O’Rourke, building facade specialists AAI Selby, mast climbing work platform suppliers Adastra Access, and gearbox specialists Nord Gear all appeared in court for the hearing. Representatives from the Health and Safety Executive and Merseyside Police also attended. Last month Adastra appointed an insolvency administrator last month see: Adastra calls in the administrators

The HSE, said it would likely take until September or October for the leading inspector to prepare a full report into what happened. The coroner said: "At the moment, we are unable to make any more substantial progress until we have the report from the Health and Safety Executive, so I am going to therefore arrange a future pre-inquest review hearing. That's not likely to be for at least another two or three months. It's very difficult because this is a case with complexities, and it's important we get it right by making all the evidence come at the right time so we will progress."

UPDATE 3 - Octoer 2023
At a pre-inquest review on October 20th, was told that the cause of the sudden failure of the mast climber was due to a "mechanical fault". The solicitor representing the Bottomley family, also called on the coroner Johanna Thompson to request evidence regarding the maintenance of the platform from contractors Laing O’Rourke, the mast climber supplier Adastra Access, and the machine's rack & pinion gearbox supplier Nord Gear.