Selkirk company fined £100,000 for death of an employee

Date: 20 August 2014

A Selkirkshire based company has been found guilty today at Jedburgh Sheriff Court of failing to ensure the health and safety of an employee when they died after becoming trapped between a partition door and a support frame within their Winston Road premises.

Scottish Borders Abattoir Limited of Galashiels was found guilty of contraventions of Section 2(1), Section 33(1)(a) and Section 33(1)(c) of the Health Safety at Work Act 1974 and Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and was fined £100,000.

On 19 January 2011 David Barker, an employee at the Scottish Borders Abattoir Limited premises in Winston Road, Galashiels was engaged in loosening fixings attaching the support frame of a partition door to tracking attached to the ceiling of a container unit and preparing the support frame for removal from the unit. Mr Barker died when the support frame of the door he was dismantling collapsed trapping him by the neck and suffocating him.

The case was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive who found that the company had failed to provide proper instruction, training or supervision and that there was no suitable and sufficient risk assessment carried out for the task and the system of work was unsafe. The incident could have been avoided had reasonably practicable precautions been taken.

Gary Aitken, Head of the COPFSCrown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service Health Safety Division said:

“Scottish Borders Abattoir Limited was today found guilty of contraventions of the Health Safety at Work Act that lead to the death of an employee.

“This was, sadly, an entirely avoidable tragedy which resulted in the loss of a loved one for the Barker family

“Hopefully, today’s outcome will highlight the need for companies to keep the health and safety of their employees to the fore.”

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Issued on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive by the Regional News Network

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