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Port operator fined £300,000 over worker death

Posted in: Employer Negligence Workplace Injuries Wrongful & Accidental Death 

Port operator, Clydeport has been fined £300,000 at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court following the death of 22-year-old worker Craig Logan in February 2015. The operator pleaded guilty to several breaches of health and safety laws, including failure to make risk assessments and ensure safe working practice. These led to Mr Logan being crushed to death on a crane at a coal terminal in Hunterston, Ayrshire.

Mr Logan had gone to inspect the unloader crane cab when it had stopped working. It was revealed that Clydeport had failed to ensure that the cab was electrically isolated so that it could not unexpectedly restart. They also failed to provide equipment for workers to communicate with each other.

Multiple failings

Clydeport also plead guilty to failing to provide equipment that meant that workers would not have to physically move the cab in the event of a breakdown. They were found guilty of failing to assess the risks to human life should the cab either become stuck or falling from the boom.

At the hearing it was revealed that, ironically, a safety assessment was due to take place on the day following Mr Logan’s death. The company had been operating without a qualified risk assessment engineer for around eight months, as well as a health and safety manager, and according to Sheriff Shirley Foran, the company “knew they were thereby exposed”.

Clydeport, who have previous convictions for breaches of health and safety, have apologised to Mr Logan’s family and have assured the court that improvements have been implemented to avoid future workplace accidents.

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