Whiteinch Demolition Limited, a Glasgow demolition contractor has been fined after a worker was killed when a weight from a face shovel machine fell on him.

On 12 May 2008 Bernard McCarroll, aged 68 years from Croy, was dismantling a hydraulic excavator at the company’s yard in Glasgow by the process known as burning, using a flame torch. The machine weighed seven tonnes (7080 kilogrammes) and had a weight at the rear to assist stability. Whilst flame cutting the bolts that held this weight to the frame of the machine, part of it fell onto Mr McCarroll who suffered serious injuries and died.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the dismantling operation had not been properly risk assessed or planned by the company. The court was told that a safe system of work had not been provided to those carrying out the dismantling task. It was also found that insufficient information and instruction had been made available by the company with regard to the assembly of this large machine.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Russell Berry said:

“The dismantling operation had not been planned sufficiently and it was left to Mr McCarroll to decide how to carry out the task as it progressed.

“In failing to carry out a risk assessment for this job and failing to plan a safe method of carrying out the work, Whiteinch Demolition Ltd failed to protect Bernard McCarroll and it cost him his life.

“This incident was entirely foreseeable and could have easily been avoided. If straightforward steps had been taken then Mr McCarroll would undoubtedly be alive today.”

At Glasgow Sheriff Court yesterday (29 August 2011) Whiteinch Demolition Ltd, of Centurion Works, Balmuildy Road, Bishopbriggs, Glasgow pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974. It was fined £15,000.