Glasgow Firm Fined after Worker Killed

A Glasgow construction firm has been sentenced for serious safety failings after a worker was crushed to death when a 1.6 tonnes frame fell onto him during construction of a steel stair tower.

Daniel Hurley was employed as a groundworker by a company that was sub-contracted to work on a major development of flats and houses in Maryhill, Glasgow.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard that Mr Hurley had been operating a ‘whacker’ machine to compact hardcore next to an area where the structural steelwork for a stair tower was being erected on the site.

But after the steel frame had been lowered into position and the lifting chains released, it then began to tilt and fall towards Mr Hurley, pulling three anchor bolts clear out of the ground, while the fourth was snapped in half.

One of the steel erectors shouted a warning and Mr Hurley began to run, but he was struck by the top beam of the frame across his shoulders and neck forcing him down onto the ground and causing fatal crush injuries.

The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive and Police Scotland, which found serious safety failings in the way the principal contractor had managed the project.

The investigation found that remaining foundation resin anchor bolts installed by the principal contractor were so poorly installed that they could be moved by hand and one was so loose that it was pulled out of the concrete foundation by the investigating inspector.

The failure to check the bolts capacity by the sub-contractors combined with the chosen method of erection had contributed to the cause of the fatal collapse.

The principal contractor had also failed to review the risk assessments and method statements submitted by the steelwork sub-contractor for the task and had failed to establish and maintain an exclusion zone around the steelwork while erection was being carried out.

It was fined £200,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

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