In May 2008, a 68-year-old man named Bernard McCarroll died after being hit by a falling weight whilst working at Whiteinch Demolition in Glasgow.
Following an HSE investigation which found that the incident was “entirely foreseeable,” the company admitted contravening Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act, and has been fined £15,000 by Glasgow Sheriff Court.
Mr McCarroll was hit by a weight from a hydraulic excavator machine weighing 7 tonnes whilst attempting to dismantle it. Mr McCarroll was flame cutting the bolts that secured the weight to the frame of the machine when part of it fell on him, causing fatal injuries.
There had been a lack of proper risk assessment or planning prior to the dismantling operation, and the company had also failed to provide appropriate information and instructions regarding the disassembly of this equipment, the court heard.
“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,” according to HSE inspector Russell Berry. He added that “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.”