Earlier this week the Daily Record reported on the findings of a long running inquiry held under the Fatal Accidents & Sudden Deaths (Scotland) Act 2016. In summary the daily record stated:
A young family man, working on a stone crusher was crushed when he was accidently struck by the arm of an excavator. The unfortunate incident occurred when the excavator operator accidently came into contact with a control joystick on his machine when setting up a mobile crusher.
A subsequent fatal accident inquiry concluded that the incident could have been avoided if the machine's safety control lever – which locks the controls – had been engaged. However, the driver could not recall being trained in its use.
The excavator operator told the inquiry he was "not familiar" with guidance on the cut-offs used at the time, as it had not come up in training carried out by his employer or the 'recognised training and awarding body for the quarry industry'. He explained that he had been assessed by at least three times prior to the incident. He did not recall that training ever indicating that he should use the safety control lever when someone approached the machine.
The operator also could not remember taking a multiple choice health and safety questionnaire on the same day as the assessment and getting a score of 20 out of 20.
The inquiry ruled that there had been an "apparent weakness" in the exams offered by the 'recognised training and awarding body for the quarry industry, which trains quarry workers in using heavy machinery. Michael Tetley, a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector, said the excavator training "did not appear to address and record the correct use of the safety control lever".
The Health and Safety Executive inspectors found a "lack of consistency" in how plant drivers were taught about the safety control lever. The HSE also indicated that it would not be appropriate for the same body to set standards and also to train and award qualifications.
We would like to extend sincere condolences to the families of all involved.
Further information can be found here: