Balfour Beatty fined over worker's death on bridge project

27/02/2019
Chris Ames

Balfour Beatty Group has been fined £600,000 after a worker was fatally injured on a construction site in Scotland.

In January 2016, 58 year-old Ian Walker from Dundee was struck by a wheeled excavator, which was slewing after being refuelled at the construction site of the Third Don Crossing in Aberdeen. 

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard that between 4 January 2016 and 13 January 2016 Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Limited, being a principal contractor, failed to ensure that the safe system of work for refuelling of all plant and equipment was fully implemented, leading to the fatatliy

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that refuelling of plant and equipment was identified as a high risk activity by Balfour Beatty, who had created a task briefing document detailing a safe system of work and risk assessed the activity.

‘However, it is evident that although these procedures existed in documentary format the safe system of work and its control measures had not been fully implemented at the construction site,’ the HSE said.

Balfour Beatty pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and was fined £600,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE principal inspector Niall Miller said: ‘This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the civil engineering company to implement safe systems of work, and to ensure that health and safety documentation was communicated and control measures followed.’

Balfour Beatty said it has offered its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Mr Walker.

In a statement, it said: 'The safety of the public and our workforce is always our primary concern. Balfour Beatty immediately took appropriate corrective action to apply the lessons learnt from this tragic incident and shared them across our business.'

Picture copyright Bill Harrison

 

 

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