A construction company has been fined after a labourer was fatally
struck by a dumper truck in Scotland.
Agency worker Vincent Ramsay, 55, was killed at a former bus
and tram depot in Leith, Edinburgh, where he had been working for Allenbuild
since August 2016.
The London-based construction firm was the principal
contractor for the site’s redevelopment, which involved building housing and an
underground car park.
On 5 December 2016 Ramsay was near the bottom of a dirt ramp
used to access the car park. He was crouched down spray-painting marks on to
pile foundations (a long cylinder of strong material that acts as a stable
foundation for structures built on top of it).
Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told that the driver of the
forward tipping dumper truck had restricted visibility because of a load of
excavated earth it was carrying. He had not seen Ramsay and ran over him.
After the accident Allenbuild prohibited the piling works
until the bulk excavation works had been completed, to prevent any work on foot
taking place while heavy machinery was operating.
It revised its traffic management plan and implemented a
segregated pedestrian walkway to the top of the dirt ramp and along the side of
the car park. It also installed a physical barrier to demarcate the piling
Allenbuild pleaded guilty to breaching reg 27(1) of the
Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and s 33(1)(c) of the
Health and Safety at Work Act. It was fined £600,000 on 1 February. (See table
below for how the sentencing guidelines were applied.)
Sheriff Norman McFadyen said: “The company should have
recognised that there were instances where site personnel were required to
access the underground car park area on foot and that they would have to carry
out work either on or near to traffic routes used by heavy plant.
“As such the company should have taken measures to ensure
that such pedestrians were not at risk of being struck by moving plant and the
easiest way to achieve this would have been to ensure that all workers on foot
in the underground car park area were scheduled so that they did not coincide
with times when plant would be operational there. Access by pedestrians should
have been prohibited outwith these scheduled times.”
After the hearing Health and Safety Executive inspector Rob Hirst said: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident that arose due to the company’s failure to ensure that pedestrians were not carrying out work on or near traffic routes whilst vehicles were in operation.”
Sentencing guidelines application
|Culpability: ||Medium |
|Seriousness of harm risked: ||Level A |
|Likelihood of harm: ||Medium |
|Harm category: ||2 |
|Size of the organisation: ||Large |
|Turnover: ||£131m |
|Starting point for fine: ||£750,000 |
|Mitigation: ||No previous convictions, excellent safety and health record. 20% discount for early guilty plea |
|Final penalty: ||£600,000 |