Home >Company fined after contract cleaner's fatal fall
Company fined after contract cleaner's fatal fall
07 March 2013
A Fife papermaking firm has been fined £260,000 after a contract cleaner fell almost 50 feet through a fragile roof to his death. Thomas Sturrock, 32, from Methil, was working as part of a team for a contractor, cleaning the roof at Tullis Russell Papermaker Ltd's warehouse in Markinch, Fife, on 29 September 2008.
Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court heard that Mr Sturrock's co-workers on the roof heard a cracking sound before becoming aware that Mr Sturrock had fallen through the roof.Workers in the warehouse below also heard a loud noise and saw that Mr Sturrock had fallen through the roof to the concrete floor below.
An ambulance was called and paramedics pronounced Mr Sturrock dead at the scene.A post mortem examination established that Mr Sturrock would have died immediately following the fall. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that when Tullis Russell Papermakers instructed the contractor to carry out the cleaning work, it failed to make sure the work was properly planned and organised,and when the contractor's employees were at work, they did not control,monitor and review the way the work was taking place.
The contractor had advised Tullis Russell Papermakers Limited the team would be using crawling boards on the fragile roof.
However, such boards were not used and in order to carry out the cleaning work,workers accessed the roof by stepping onto it.Tullis Russell Papermakers Limited took no steps to check that crawling boards were in fact being used as agreed and failed to bring the unsafe work practices to a stop in spite of its internal procedures stating that work carried out by contractors should be monitored daily.
Tullis Russell Papermakers Ltd of Glenrothes, Fife, was fined £260,000 after pleading guilty to breaching section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.