Scottish company fined after worker crushed to death
J & J Currie Ltd, a haulage firm in Dumfries, has been fined following the tragic death of a worker 18 months ago.
Ayr Sheriff Court was informed that a vehicle was being delivered to Arnimean, Galloway Forest using a trailer. While the vehicle was being offloaded from the trailer, one of the hydraulic ramps did not lower as it should. Andrew Adams, a 61-year-old employee, tried to repair the ramp. However, when he removed the hose burst valve, hydraulic pressure was released causing the ramp to fall onto him. Although the ramp had been secured using a ratchet strap, it failed to hold the ramp and collapsed, crushing Adams.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) conducted an investigation into the incident, which took place on 24th December, 2014. The inspectors found that insufficient planning had taken place, while the risks had not been recognised by the workers. The investigation also revealed that the potential repair was much more complex than the workers had realised at the time, and the delivery driver and Adams were both incapable of conducting the repair. Due to the strap's condition, it should not have been used to secure the ramp whilst it was in an upright position, HSE said.
The company was fined £45,000 after pleading guilty to breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. According to Jane Scott, HSE inspector, the incident could have been avoided. Adequate risk assessment and planning are required, which may include the use of specialist workwear to safeguard workers.