Shetland engineering firm fined over worker fall

An engineering firm based in Shetland has admitted health and safety breaches which led to an employee sustaining serious injuries, and has been fined £26,700 as a result.

Ness Engineering was prosecuted after employee David Thomson, 22, fell from the bucket of a telehandler after a piece of metal hit him. He fell up to nine feet to the ground and sustained serious injuries to his back, arm and hand.

Lerwick Sheriff Court heard recently that the managing director of the firm, Ronnie Leslie, had undertaken a risk assessment on the task and that this had been followed until the team encountered unforeseen difficulties. At this point, when removing a four-metre-long metal section from a structure, they deviated from their health and safety training and this is when the accident occurred.

Ness Engineering pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety regulations and was fined £26,700 as a result. Commenting on the verdict, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Alan MacKinnon said:

“It was entirely foreseeable that there was a risk of either the men or the metal falling from the bucket, yet the company did nothing to ensure they had the right equipment on site to allow Mr Thomson and his colleague to carry out their work safely.”