The Ministry of Defence has been issued with a “Crown Censure” after a Royal Navy engineering technician was killed during lift maintenance work.

Leading Engineering Technician Neal Edmonds, 42, from Kidderminster, Worcestershire, was crushed between a moving lift and the lift shaft in June 2014 while carrying out maintenance work on board HMS Bulwark in Devonport.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the MoD failed to ensure there was a safe system of work to control the risks associated with lift maintenance.

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The MoD cannot face prosecution in the same way as private or commercial organisations and a Crown Censure is the maximum sanction a government body can receive.

HSE’s deputy director of field operations, Jane Lassey, said: “The risks arising from maintenance operations are well known and suitable measures required to reduce these risks are understood.

“Like any employer, the MoD has a responsibility to reduce dangers to its personnel, as far as they properly can, and in this case they failed Neal Edmonds.”

By accepting the Crown Censure, the MoD admitted breaching its duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

A Royal Navy spokesperson said: “Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of LET Edmonds at this time.

“We are fully committed to making the Royal Navy a workplace where safety and risk are properly managed, with health and safety procedures constantly under review.

“We respect the jury’s conclusion and will now consider the coroner’s recommendations carefully.”