Everton fan working on new stadium 'died in industrial accident'
Jul 28, 2023
An Everton fan who died while working on the football club’s new stadium suffered severe head injuries after being caught between a beam and a piece of machinery, an inquest has heard.
Ventilation engineer Michael Jones, from Kirkby, Merseyside, died on August 14 after being injured at Bramley-Moore Dock in Liverpool, where Everton’s new ground is being built.
An inquest into the 26-year-old’s death was opened on Wednesday at Gerard Majella Courthouse in Liverpool.
Senior coroner Andrew Rebello told the court: ‘Michael had been operating a machine commonly known as a scissor ladder.
‘He was caught between the beam above him and the machine.’
The court heard that Mr Jones, whose middle name was Goodison, had been wearing a hard hat, which was damaged in the incident.
Mr Rebello said: ‘A colleague noticed Michael’s lift had stopped. He climbed on to Michael’s lift and moved it forward. This released Michael and this revealed severe head injuries.
‘He was lifted to the ground and provided with first aid until an ambulance arrived, when he was transported to hospital where tragically he was certified as having died.’
He said the matter is being investigated by Merseyside Police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), who are working together.
He added: ‘This will be a very complex and technical investigation which will take some time.’
Mr Rebello said a post-mortem examination has been carried out and a report from the pathologist will be available after toxicology results.
He said: ‘I don’t think there is any concern there may have been any substances in Mr Jones at the time of the incident, but in a case of this nature toxicology is taken routinely.’
The inquest was told that Mr Jones had three older sisters and came from a family of Everton supporters.
His family were not at the hearing, which lasted 10 minutes.
Mr Rebello said Mr Jones’ employer, Mersey Vent Ltd, and the stadium contractor, Laing O’Rourke, will be recognised as interested persons at the inquest.
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The case was adjourned until February 29 next year.
Following Mr Jones’ death, his family described him as a ‘beloved son, brother, uncle and friend’.
They said: ‘He was a lifelong Blue who was so happy to be working on the new stadium.
‘We want to thank the NHS staff and work colleagues who did their best for Michael. He will be missed beyond words.’
Fans paid tribute to Mr Jones ahead of Everton’s home game against Wolves on Saturday, when a round of applause was held before the match.
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