A coroner has highlighted the dangers of working underneath vehicles and has urged all mechanics to always take precautions after a man died from chest injuries caused when the car he was working on fell on him.
26-year-old Richard Harron died after the vehicle came off a hydraulic jack, causing fatal crush asphyxia and chest injuries.
Mr Harron had two mechanic jobs and also carried out work for family members “because he never said no” to anyone, the court heard.
November 13, 2017 he had gone to his grandmother’s house to carry out work on a Seat he had bought for parts, arriving at 7.30pm.
In a statement Mr Harron’s grandmother said she went out to check on him at 10.00pm when she discovered her grandson lying on the ground with the car on top of his chest.
The coroner was told that the ground where Mr Harron had been working was stony and slightly sloped.
Forensic tests carried out on Mr Harron’s jack showed no defects.
Coroner Patrick McGurgan said: “There is no doubt Richard was a talented young man.
“It struck me that he had been around cars for most of his life.
“This emphasises the need when you are going to perform such a task to ensure all steps have been taken to satisfy yourself that it is completely safe.”
He added that there was no doubt mechanics work on cars jacked up with no thought as to what might happen, adding that he wanted Mr Harron’s death to be an important reminder to take every safety precaution.
A 21-year-old man lost his life in June while attempting to remove the engine from a BMW in Halisham, East Sussex.
The BMW fell onto the man’s chest, leaving him pinned underneath the vehicle after the jack which had been supporting it failed.
Last year a DIY mechanic was lucky to escape with his life when the Mercedes Sprinter he was working on fell on top of him.
After hearing cries for help, a gym-going neighbour manages to free man by single-handedly lifting the van up as another Good Samaritan dragged the mechanic free.
Do you agree with the coroner that most technicians work under vehicles without a second thought about the possible dangers? Have you or anybody you know ever had a close call? Perhaps you think this is just another reason to introduce industry licensing – leave your comments below.