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Sisk and designer in court for cold store roof collapse

Two companies have been prosecuted after a cold store roof gave way and injured two workers.

John Sisk and Son (Sisk) was the principal contractor responsible for fitting-out a new distribution warehouse in Motherwell, Scotland, while Hemsec Installations was subcontracted to design and construct the warehouse’s cold store.

Twenty-year-old Nayan Patel and Guy Davies, 27, were working on the roof lids of the partially built cold store when they collapsed on 12 October 2010. Patel sustained fractures to his right arm and foot, while Davies’ thigh and right kneecap were fractured.

Both workers were employed by Sitewatch, a subcontractor of Sisk. 

Hemsec failed to ensure that its subcontractor had installed links between the cold store’s roof panels and the walls as per its design, then verified the connections were secure before letting Sisk’s workers onto the roof lids.

At Hamilton Sheriff Court, both Sisk and Hemsec (now trading as HIL Installations) were found guilty of offences under Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and fined £64,000 and £71,000, respectively. 

“The accident could have been prevented if Sisk had enforced their permit to work system and ensured that workers were not allowed access to the roof lid section until they received confirmation that the roof lid section had been installed correctly and was safe,” said Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Graeme McMinn. 


Keeley Downey was the former assistant editor of IOSH Magazine. Previously she was editor of Biofuels International, Bioenergy Insight and Tank Cleaning Magazine

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