Construction firm fined £700,000 after worker crushed to death

June 17, 2021

A construction company has been fined £700,000 over safety failings after one of its employees was crushed by a dumper truck.

John Cameron, 61, from Tyne and Wear, was working for BAM Nuttall during the building of an electricity sub-station at Blackhillock, near Keith in Moray. He died after his legs became trapped under a passing truck.

Inverness Sheriff Court was told how he had been fitting a new blade to a specialist saw when the accident happened. Fiscal depute Gavin Callaghan told Sheriff Gary Aitken there was a safe place where Mr Cameron could have carried out his work, but it was not clearly designated.

Mr Callaghan said: “Mr Cameron was left to his own devices. What he did and where he did it was not safe but that is no criticism of Mr Cameron. No-one from BAM challenged him and there had been no risk planning.

“It is not suggested that BAM had a cavalier attitude towards health and safety and it is tragic that an oversight has such terrible consequences.”

BAM Nuttall admitted failing to make a suitable risk assessment in the task of repair and replacement of equipment on site and the risk of vehicles and pedestrians coming into contact with each other.

It also failed to provide a system of work that could be carried out safely and which segregated persons from vehicles.

Murdo MacLeod, QC for BAM Nuttall, said there had been a last-minute design change to the area where Mr Cameron was working and admitted no arrangements had been made for a risk assessment at such short notice.

He said: “The company recognise that it was unacceptable that he should have been left to his own devices and greater care should have been taken to secure that area. The company has left no stone unturned since the accident and new zonal working systems have been introduced.”

Mr MacLeod added: “The company want to formally record its sincere regret to the family as Mr Cameron was an experienced, highly valued and popular employee.”

Passing sentence, Sheriff Aitken recorded his condolences to family members in court and added: “No-one ever thinks that a loved one going to work won’t come home.”

He said it was not the court’s function to try and put a value on a person’s life but to punish a company in the only way it could by a fine.


This is valid as of 17th June 2021.

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