Beds, Herts & Bucks

St Albans FC fined over death of 'odd jobs' volunteer

HSE Image copyright HSE
Image caption Clive Churchhouse was fixing the roof of a stand at the club

A football club has been fined over the death of a volunteer who fell through a terrace roof while repairing a leak.

Clive Churchhouse, 71, was a "passionate supporter" of St Albans City Football Club and had carried out "odd jobs" for many years.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the club "failed in its duty towards volunteers".

The club admitted health and safety breaches at Luton Magistrates' Court and was ordered to pay £2,100.

Mr Churchhouse had been carrying out repairs to the roof of the terrace at the Clarence Park ground when he fell to his death on 18 July, 2017.

Hertfordshire senior coroner Geoffrey Sullivan recorded his death as an accident at an inquest in June 2018.

Image copyright St Albans City FC
Image caption Clive Churchhouse had been a fan of St Albans City FC for about 60 years

The HSE found "inadequate supervision, together with volunteers being provided with keys to gain uncontrolled entry to the football ground, resulted in access to the roof to carry out repairs in an unsafe manner."

Magistrates ordered the club to pay a fine of £1,000, court costs of £1,000 and a victim surcharge of £100.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Sandra Dias said: "This was a tragic and wholly avoidable fatality caused by the failure of the club in its duty of care towards volunteers.

"Employers who use volunteers have to ensure their safety, the same as if they were a paid employee."

A club statement shortly after the accident described Mr Churchhouse as a "much loved character around the club with a big personality".

A stand at Clarence Park has been renamed the Clive Churchhouse Terrace in his memory.

St Albans FC plays in the National League South, the sixth tier of English football.

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