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H&S PROSECUTORS IN SCOTLAND CLAIM FIRST TRIAL SUCCESS

Contractors prosecuted after death of labourer in loading platform fall 

Robertson Construction Central Limited and Stirling Stone Limited have been convicted under HSW Act Sections 3 and 2 respectively following the death of a stone mason’s labourer in April 2007 at a construction site in Glasgow. The conviction comes after a three week trial and the Sheriff has deferred sentence until 7 April at Glasgow Sheriff Court

James Kelly, a labourer employed by Stirling Stone, was working on the third level of on a loading tower of the independent access scaffolding, when he fell to the ground and sustained injuries from which he died.

First trial under new system in Scotland

In Scotland the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service has sole responsibility for the raising of H&S criminal proceedings led by a the Health and Safety Division launched in July 2009. Over 100 new cases have been reported since the Division was established and in that time more than 40 cases have been resolved by securing early guilty pleas. This is the first case that has proceeded to trial.

Elaine Taylor, Head of the COPFS Health and Safety Division, said:

“On 26 April 2007 James Kelly went to work and as a result of failings by his employer and the principal contractor on site, he never returned home. He left a family devastated by their loss. The incident that led to Mr Kelly’s death was entirely avoidable had the two accused met their statutory health and safety obligations.

By building on our existing expertise and through enhanced working relationships with HSE and other enforcing authorities, the Division is able to deal with the complex issues that can arise in cases such as this. Our thoughts today are with the family of James Kelly”

HSE Principal Inspector Iain Brodie said:

“Companies working at height should ensure scaffolding is correctly erected, safe to use and properly checked and maintained. Where building materials are to be transferred into loading towers on scaffolding there should be a realistic safe system of work for workers to follow. They should be given information, instruction, training, and be adequately supervised”.

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