Contractors fined £400k for labourer’s death fall

Grant Prior 13 years ago
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Main contractor Robertson Construction and specialist subcontractor Stirling Stone have been fined £200,000 each following the death of a stonemason’s labourer at a Glasgow construction site.

Stirling Stone employee James Kelly was working on the third level of a loading tower of scaffolding at the Glasgow Academy site in Colebrook Street. Stirling Stone had been contracted as stonemasons on the site by Robertson Construction Central.

Kelly fell to the ground from the scaffold in April 2007. He died later from his injuries.

A single guard rail was found on the ground close to where Kelly was discovered.

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive discovered that there was no safe system of work in place for loading materials onto the loading tower, nor had suitable assessment of the risks involved been made.

The investigation also revealed that the loading tower did not have sufficient guard rails and toe boards and that neither company had ensured that the tower and access scaffolding was properly inspected on a regular basis.

Both companies were found guilty of health and safety breaches at an earlier trial and were both fined £200,000 at Glasgow Sheriff Court today for safety law breaches.

John Shelton, HSE Inspector for Construction, said: “What happened to Mr Kelly was entirely preventable and would not have happened if the proper steps had been taken.

“Loading up operations at scaffold loading towers are repeated on construction sites across Scotland probably thousands of times a day.

“There is no excuse for the contractors not to have agreed procedures as to how this work was to be done and ensured that this routine work was carried out safely.

“Where vital edge protection is removed temporarily to allow loading up to take place steps must be taken to ensure persons cannot fall during that work.”

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