A construction company has been fined £550,000 after a worker tragically died in a horrific fall at a Scottish railway station.
Matthew Mason, 20, had attempted to install a public address system at Bearsden railway station in East Dunbartonshire on Tuesday 5th June 2018.
The electrician was trying to disconnect some of the wiring from the speaker when he fell backwards off a stepladder.
But he tragically landed on a metal tube that served as the handle of a cable drum.
The pipe impaled the young man, causing fatal internal injuries.
Mr. Mason was pronounced dead at the scene.
His employer – Linbrooke Services Limited – pleaded guilty to health and safety offenses in Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Thursday 30 March in connection with the tragedy.
In a 14-day trial, the court concluded that Mr. Mason’s death was “foreseeable and avoidable.”
Prosecutors argued that the Sheffield-based company failed to adequately plan the works and assess the risk.
They also argued that they had failed to have a safe system of work.
The court heard that the stepladders used were deemed unsuitable for the work done by Mr. Mason.
And not enough measures were taken to prevent a fall.
Prosecutors also argued that the company failed to ensure the work area was free of any material that could cause injury in the event of a fall.
And the company failed to recognize the risks involved in pulling cables through a pipe at height – despite having been previously briefed on the problems by a subcontractor.
Linbrooke Services Limited was found guilty of the offenses and fined a total of £550,000.
They were also ordered to pay Mr Mason’s family compensation totaling £200,000.
After the sentencing, Debbie Carroll, COPFS director of health and safety investigations, said: “Matthew Mason lost his life in circumstances that were foreseeable and avoidable.
“His death could have been prevented had Linbrooke Services Limited taken appropriate planning, monitoring and safeguarding measures to manage the risk of working at height.
“Falls from heights are known to be one of the leading causes of death and serious injury among workers in the construction industry.
“Based on the evidence heard here, the industry needs to be more acknowledging and rigorously addressing the risks associated with the use of stepladders.
“This prosecution should remind those responsible that failure to perform their duties can have fatal consequences and that they will be held accountable for that failure.”
Linbrooke Services Limited has been contacted for comment.
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