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Demolition firm fined after worker’s fatal fall

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A demolition company has received a fine after a worker fell 9m (30ft) to his death when part of a pipe bridge platform gave way underneath him.

Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court heard that John Gary Robertson, known as Gary Robertson, suffered multiple injuries following a fall from height at Longannet Power Station, Fife, on 6 February 2019.

Robertson’s employer was CBR02 Limited (formerly known as Brown and Mason), which is now in administration.

A joint investigation by the Health and Safety Executive and Police Scotland into the incident found that the section of metal grating on the pipe bridge which Robertson had been standing on gave way under his weight, as it had been extremely corroded.

Risk assessment failure

By failing to record the extremely hazardous condition of the pipe bridge the company failed to undertake a suitable and sufficient risk assessment. In particular, the risk assessment, which formed part of the final, revised method statement, did not address the severely corroded nature of the pipe bridge, despite that being previously highlighted and requested by the client, Scottish Power.

The company failed to put necessary control measures in place, to inform employees of the hazardous condition of the pipe bridge, and to prevent access to it.

CBR02 Limited of Hertford Road, Middlesex, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has been fined fined £5,000.

HSE principal inspector, David Charnock, said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.

“In this case, adequate communication of suitable information and instructions would have made employees aware of the unsafe condition of the pipe bridge platform.”

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