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Construction firm fined £200,000 over employee death

Posted in: Workplace Injuries 

A construction firm has been fined £200,000 after a worker died on a building site in Glasgow. 31-year-old Daniel Hurley, from Cork, Ireland, died in 2009 after a steel frame fell on top of him, crushing him. The firm, Morris and Spottiswood, was fined after admitting to health and safety failings that caused the death.

It was heard in Glasgow Sheriff Court that Mr Hurley’s partner, 34-year-old Carrie McArthur, felt that the case took far too long to reach court, which she stated in a letter written to Sheriff Norman Ritchie. Sheriff Ritchie said that he was in agreement with Ms McArthur concerning the delay in the case, and described it as “entirely unacceptable”.

“not to be seen as the value of human life”

In passing the sentence earlier this week, Sheriff Ritchie made the point that the amount of money was “not to be seen as the value of human life”; he said that no amount of money could compensate the family for their loss.

It was heard in court that the steel frame, which stood at 24.5ft, had been put in place using a crane and bolted down before the chains holding it were released. Minutes later, it started to topple to the ground, pulling three of the bolts out of the ground. Mr Hurley began to run, but was unable to avoid the falling frame, which struck him on the shoulders and neck. He was rushed to hospital in an ambulance, but was later pronounced dead at the Western Infirmary.

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