An award-winning Health and Safety expert died when he plunged 30ft down a lift shaft he was inspecting.
James Merritt, 39, tumbled down the empty shaft of a passenger lift while working at a three-storey building in Warwick, an inquest has heard.
The father -of-two was inspecting three lifts, two passenger and one freight, at Telent Technologies Services, when he fell and suffered fatal head injuries, on October 11 last year.
James Merritt, 39, tumbled down the empty shaft of a passenger lift while working at a three-storey building in Warwick, an inquest has heard
Paramedics treated Mrs Merritt at the industrial park but he could not recover and died at the scene.
Assistant Coroner for Warwickshire, Delroy Henry, said : ‘He arrived a little after 8am to begin his work – he interacted with a maintenance worker.
‘He unfortunately was discovered at the bottom of the lift pit where the passenger doors operate just before 1.30pm.
‘He suffered major trauma to his head and later died at the scene.’
The inquest heard Mr Merritt, from Hampton Magna, Warwickshire, was one of the most highly qualified safety experts at Zurich Engineering.
Dominic Dawson, chief engineer for the firm, said: ‘We carry out examinations of lifting equipment, pressure systems, all kinds of equipment and statutory examinations so people understand their equipment is safe – our examinations are legal requirements.
The father -of-two Mr Merritt was inspecting three lifts at Telent Technologies Services (pictured) when he fell and suffered fatal head injuries, on October 11 last year
‘James commenced his employment in June 2016, he worked in a similar role as an engineer surveyor before.
‘He had a Higher National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, he was part of the Engineering Council, he was an Incorporated Engineer.
‘This is a very experienced engineer level. He had been an engineer for over 20 years – ten as a surveyor.
‘In 2014 James was fortunate to receive an award.’
Mr Merritt was an engineer with over 20 years experience and had won Engineer Surveyor of the Year in 2014
Describing the training Mr Merritt undertook to reach his position, Mr Dawson added:
‘He would take certain health and safety exams over that period of time.
‘He got 92 per cent on his final exam, which is very, very high – figures are usually around the 80 per cent mark.
‘His job could include working in confined spaces and heights.’
Speaking after he was crowned Engineer Surveyor of the Year in 2014, Mr Merritt said: ‘Identifying defects that could become a danger to people is something I will never tire of.’
James’ tearful wife Kimberley, mother to six-year-old Oliver and two-year-old Evelyn, attended the inquest at Warwickshire Coroner’s Court.
The five-day hearing continues.