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A haulage company from Dumfries has been fined £45,000 after one of its workers was tragically crushed to death by a hydraulic ramp on Christmas Eve.

Ayr Sheriff Court heard how Andrew Adams, a 61-year-old employee J & J Currie Ltd was attempting to unload a vehicle from a trailer at the company’s premises in Galloway Forest when one the hydraulic ramps on the trailer failed to lower. In an attempt to free the ramp the man removed a hose-burst valve which resulted in a catastrophic release of pressure, with the ramp – secured only with a ratchet strap – collapsing on to him and crushing him to death.

An investigation by the HSE into the incident found that there was a distinct lack of effective planning and that neither Mr Adams or the other driver involved in the incident were suitably trained to carry out such a repair. After the investigation HSE inspector Jane Scott said: “This tragic loss of life could have been avoided and highlights the risks associated with maintenance and repair, and the need for those undertaking work to be competent, ensuring work is planned, and the risks are fully understood and managed.”

Hazards during maintenance

Maintenance activities can potentially expose people to all sorts of hazards. There are five commonly encountered issues that merit particular attention.

  • Asbestos
  • Falls from height
  • Isolation and permits to work
  • Falls of heavy items

Selecting a contractor

While it is crucial to ensure that equipment and machines are suitably maintained, it is also vital to make sure that those who perform the maintenance are themselves suitably trained and equipped for the job at hand.

If you or someone you know has been injured at work it is quite possible that you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Employers have a duty to minimize exposure to any dangers involved in people’s work, and if they fail to take that responsibility seriously – particularly if it results in someone being injured – they can be sued, fined or both. Our solicitors have years of experience in handling these types of cases and so should swiftly be able to tell you if you have a case, and if so, how much compensation you might be able to claim. Contact us today and find out how we can help you.