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Stirling Stone fined £200,000 for worker’s death

Two companies receive stiff fines after stonemason’s labourer dies in fall from scaffolding tower

SCOTTISH masonry company Stirling Stone Ltd have been fined £200,000 following the death of an employee who fell from scaffolding at a Glasgow construction site.

Stonemason’s labourer James Kelly was working on the third level of a scaffolding loading tower at Glasgow Academy on 26 April 2007, when he fell to the ground and sustained injuries from which he later died.

At the time of the incident Stirling Stone Ltd were contracted as stonemasons at the site by Elgin-based Robertson Construction Central Ltd.

During the subsequent investigation, inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive found that there was no safe system of work in place for loading materials on to the scaffolding tower, nor had a 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.

Earlier this month Glasgow Sheriff Court fined Stirling Stone Ltd £200,000 for breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Robertson Construction Central Ltd were fined a similar amount by the Court for breaching Section 3(1) of the same Act.

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

‘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 to take place, steps must be taken to ensure persons cannot fall during that work,’ said Mr Shelton.

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