Housing company fined after worker killed by concrete blocks

A housing company has been fined more than £300,000 after a driver was crushed to death by falling concrete blocks at a construction site in South Lanarkshire.

Conor Joseph Morgan had been delivering materials to Shott Farm in High Blantrye, a construction site being operated by Avant Homes (Scotland) Limited, when the incident happened on 19 April 2017.

The 45-year-old, who was employed as a HGV driver for Regen Waste Limited, was crushed as the concrete blocks were being unloaded from the articulated flatbed trailer using an excavator with pallet fork attachment. However, the length of the pallet forks fitted to the excavator exceeded the width of the pallet being unloaded.

As the pallet was being lifted the forks caught a second pallet of concrete blocks causing them to topple from the edge of the trailer and onto Mr Morgan.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated and found that Avant Homes (Scotland) Limited as the principal contractor on site should have ensured there was a safe system of work for the unloading of the delivery vehicle driven by Mr Morgan. It also found Regen Waste Ltd had not carried out a suitable and sufficient assessment of risk for the drivers delivering to remote sites not under its control.

On 19 June at Hamilton Sheriff Court, Avant Homes (Scotland) Limited of Edinburgh Park, Edinburgh pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and were fined £333,000. Regen Waste Limited of Newry, County Down pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(1)a of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and were fined £23,000.

Speaking after the case HSE principal inspector Graeme McMinn said: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by a failure of the principal contractor to implement a safe system of work.  The employer also failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment of risk.”

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

HSE

June 2024