The emergency stop buttons in a Royal Oldham Hospital lift shaft where a labourer died were faulty, an inquest has heard.

On Wednesday (January 10), the inquest into the death of Sandy Noble, a 33-year-old from Scarborough, continued at Rochdale Coroners Court.

The father-of-one was killed by a lift on February 22, 2021 when he was in a lift shaft despite not being qualified to do so without supervision.

On day three of the inquest, senior coroner Joanne Kearsley heard evidence from Darren Martin, a specialist inspector in electrical engineering for the Health and Safety Executive, who carried out an investigation into Mr Noble's death.

The Oldham Times: Multiple witnesses have said they do not know why Sandy Noble was in Lift Five at the timeMultiple witnesses have said they do not know why Sandy Noble was in Lift Five at the time (Image: Irwin Mitchell Solicitors)

As part of his investigation, Mr Martin examined the emergency stop buttons in Lift Five, where Mr Noble died, and determined they were not fit for purpose.

He said the two buttons had "intermittent faults" as they could be either off, on, or in a third state where they could allow the control circuit of the lift to continue to be live.

Mr Martin said the fact the buttons could operate in the third state meant they did not meet the safety requirements.

The Oldham Times: Royal Oldham HospitalRoyal Oldham Hospital (Image: Newsquest)

On the morning of February 22, Mr Noble opened the doors to Lift Five, which would have deactivated the lift, before pressing the upper emergency stop button and getting into the lift pit.

Mr Noble entered Lift Five despite the fact himself and lift engineer Daniel Belton were carrying out works on Lift Six and that Mr Noble had not been instructed to enter Lift Five, according to Mr Belton.

Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox by signing up to The Oldham Times’ morning and evening newsletters as well as our breaking news alerts 

For an unknown reason, the lift doors closed and the upper emergency button released, with Mr Martin saying it could have potentially self-released.

The lift then began to move and there was an attempt by Mr Noble to press the lower emergency stop button and although this made the lift stop for a few seconds, the lift then began to move again before the fatal impact.

The Oldham Times: Rochdale Coroners CourtRochdale Coroners Court (Image: Newsquest)

Earlier in the day, evidence was heard from William Hughes, managing director for Hughes Risk Management Ltd.

He said that the project plan drawn up for the work that was being done in Lifts Five and Lift Six was "very generic" and that there were issues with it as it did not go into enough detail.

Mr Hughes did add that Mr Noble "never should have been in Lift Pit Five unsupervised".

The inquest continues.