An engineering firm has been ordered to pay £160,000 after a schoolboy was crushed to death by a heavy wooden pole when it broke loose and rolled down an embankment where the child was playing.
Keiran Esquierdo was playing with friends on 15 October 2017 when the 10-metre telegraph pole he was standing on became dislodged. It rolled down a grass embankment, along with the 12-year-old.
Keiran became pinned between the 275kg pole and a concrete fence post at the bottom of the slope, and died at the scene in Kelloholm, Dumfries and Galloway.
Dumfries Sheriff Court heard how the poles had been sent to the wrong site, a short distance from where they should have been delivered.
The company admitted failing to provide the necessary instruction and training on the delivery and storage of poles. It also failed to ensure people not in their employment were not exposed to health and safety risks.
SPIE, based in London, pleaded guilty to breaching s 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £160,000. Sheriff Brian Mohan said the fine would have been £240,000 but it was reduced by a third because of SPIE's guilty plea.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Martin McMahon said: “This terrible and tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a child. This death could easily have been prevented if the risks involved had been properly managed, through the provision of safe systems of work and suitable training of employees. Sadly however, that was not the case."
SPIE said it had provided "full co-operation" with the investigation and new processes had been put in place immediately to ensure there could be no repeat of such an incident.