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  3. Worker 'saved from death' by hard hat

A worker was probably saved from being killed by his PPE (personal protective equipment), a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Inspector has said, following an incident nearly five years ago which left the man seriously injured and has resulted in his employer being fined.

In July 2009, Valentin Taljanov was working on a demolition project at Aberdeen Harbour, when he was struck by falling cast iron. Standing right underneath the piece of guttering, which failed after being only partially removed and left unsupported, the 61 year old suffered a broken arm, broken vertebra, seven broken ribs and a punctured lung.

Mr Taljanov also suffered a cut to his head but, had he not been wearing his protective workwear, the incident could have been fatal.

According to Liz Hunter, the HSE Inspector on the case brought against Lawrie [Demolition] Limited:

“This incident was wholly preventable by taking down the guttering in one go and it was probably only Mr Taljanov’s hard hat that prevented him from being killed.”

Hunter continued to explain that the firm also failed in its risk assessment reviews as it carried out the demolition. She said:

“Exclusion zones were not enforced to keep staff out of areas where materials could fall, despite there being two supervisors on site and regular site visits by management.”

The firm, which belongs to the Leiths Group of companies, pleaded guilty to a breach of 'Regulation 29 of The Construction [Design and Management] Regulations 2007'. The firm received a £40,000 fine.

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