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FIRMS FINED £400,000 FOLLOWING STONEMASONS FATAL FALL

Scaffolding loading tower not inspected and lacking in sufficient guardrails  

Two companies have been fined a total of £400,000 for following the death of a stonemason’s labourer at a Glasgow construction site managed by Robertson Construction Central Ltd .

James Kelly, was employed by Stirling Stone Ltd working on the third level of scaffolding at Glasgow Academy when fell to the ground in April 2007. A single guard rail was found on the ground close to where Mr Kelly was discovered.

HSE investigators found there was no safe system of work in place for loading materials onto the tower and a suitable assessment of the risks had not been made. The loading tower did not have sufficient guard rails and toe boards and neither company had ensured that the tower and access scaffolding was properly inspected on a regular basis.

Death was entirely preventable

Both companies were found guilty of health and safety breaches at an earlier trial. On 12th April 2011 Robertson Construction Central Ltd of Elgin was fined £200,000 for breaching HSW Act Section 3(1). Stirling Stone Ltd was fined £200,000 for breaching HSW Act Section 2(1).

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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