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Safety failures led to man’s death

Safety failures led to man’s death

Failing to properly plan, organise and monitor a roof cleaning job resulted in the death of a young worker.

Tullis Russell Papermaker was handed a £260,000 fine for its safety breaches.

Thomas Sturrock, 32, was part of a contracted squad tasked with cleaning the roof of the company's warehouse in Fife in September 2008. He ended up falling through the roof and landed on the ground nearly 50ft below. Mr Sturrock died instantly.

Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court was told that other workers on the roof had heard a cracking noise just as Mr Sturrock fell.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation found that when Tullis Russell 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 staff were at work, it did not control, monitor and review the way the work was being carried out.

Tullis Russell Papermakers Ltd of Glenrothes, Fife, pleaded guilty to breaking section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

The case against the contractor is still being considered by the health and safety division of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

Malcolm Underhill, specialist personal injury solicitor, with a large practice in workplace accidents, notes that Mr Sturrock might be alive today if simple safety measures had been put in place. The conviction against the company is likely to give encouragement to his family that they should seek redress in the civil courts.

IBB Solicitors has built a reputation for quality of service in pursuing compensation in cases involving accident, illness or death. If you would like advice on personal injury issues, you can contact a member of IBB's Personal Injury team, call us on 08456 381 381 or email enquiries@ibblaw.co.uk.