A construction company failed in its duty of care following the death of a worker, a court has heard.
Daniel Hurley suffered serious crush injuries while working on a major development of flats and houses in Glasgow. He was employed as a groundworker by a company sub-contracted by Morris & Spottiswood Ltd.
Investigating the tragic incident in 2009, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) identified a number of serious safety failings in the way the firm had managed the project as a principal contractor.
Mr Hurley had been operating a compacting ‘whacker’ machine next to an area where the structural steelwork for a stair tower was being erected on the site in Maryhill, Glasgow Sheriff Court heard.
The steel frame, weighing 1.6 tonnes, came loose shortly after it had been lowered into position. Mr Hurley tried to run away as it fell, but the top beam hit his shoulders and neck, pinning him to the floor.
Three anchor bolts were pulled clear out of the ground, while the fourth was snapped in half.
HSE found the remaining foundation resin anchor bolts were so poorly installed that they could be easily moved by hand. The investigating inspector managed to pull one out of the concrete foundation.
Failed in their duty of care
The investigation concluded Morris & Spottiswood Ltd, as principal contractor, and the two sub-contracted companies, failed in their duty of care to plan, manage and monitor the work to ensure it was carried out safely.
Inspector Gerard McCulloch said it was these failings that led to the tragic death of Mr Hurley.
Morris & Spottiswood Ltd was fined £200,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The other two companies have since ceased trading.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: June 26, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown