Building firms fined £400,000 for fatal breach of health and safety laws

Two building companies from Glasgow have been fined a total of £400,000 for health and safety breaches after a worker fell from scaffolding and suffered fatal injuries.

The incident occurred in April 2007, when 50-year-old James Kelly was erecting stonework on a sports extension at Glasgow Academy. He was on the third level of a scaffolding loading tower, about 30 feet up in the air, when he fell. Mr Kelly was rushed to hospital, but later died due to his injuries.

Following Mr Kelly’s death and subsequent investigations into the incident, two firms have now been found guilty of health and safety breaches. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said that Stirling Stone and Robertson Construction Central Ltd had implemented no safe system for using the loading tower at the construction site, and that it had insufficient toe boards and guard rails.

Additionally, neither the loading tower nor the scaffolding had been regularly inspected, and no sufficient risk assessment had been made prior to the incident. Both of these latter measures, in particular, would have been completed had the right health and safety training been carried out for site workers and supervisors.

The companies were fined £200,000 apiece at Glasgow Sherriff Court for breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc 1974 Act.