Demolition Firm Fined Over Worker’s Death

Concerns Raised Over Workplace Risk Assessments

01.09.2011

A demolition company in Glasgow has been fined over an incident in which a 68-year-old worker was killed when a weight from a machine fell on top of him.

Whiteinch Demolition Ltd has been ordered to pay £15,000 in relation to the work accident in 2008, when Bernard McCarroll was dismantling a seven-tonne hydraulic excavator through a process known as burning.

However, he suffered serious injuries when part of a rear weight on the machine fell onto him as he was flame cutting bolts that held it together.

A subsequent investigation by the Health and Safety Executive revealed that a proper risk assessment had not been undertaken by the company in relation to the work, while a safe system of work was also not in place for the dismantling.

Elaine Russell, a Partner and workplace injury specialist at Irwin Mitchell’s Glasgow office, said the case should demonstrate the importance of risk assessments to firms.

He outlined: “Employers simply cannot ignore the important role that health and safety guidance plays in allowing workers to undertake their responsibilities in the safest possible manner.

“We see far too many cases in which workers suffer serious or fatal injuries in incidents which could have been avoided if organisations had followed the necessary regulations in relation to workplace safety.

“Lessons need to be learnt from cases like this if the number of people exposed to preventable risks at work is to fall and the same mistakes are not going to be made in the future.”