Scottish feed company fined in worker’s death

Transpan (Scotland) Ltd. pleaded guilty to safety violations

An Scottish animal feed company has been fined GBP80,000 (US$126,000) after one of its employees died when he was buried under tons of wheat being unloaded from a truck.

Andrew Scott Harrold, 33, was working at Transpan (Scotland) Ltd.’s Tore Mill site in Inverness, Scotland, when the incident happened in February 2011.

Emergency services used a digger, while a colleague assisted with a shovel, to scoop out eight to 10 tons of wheat before finding Harrold. He was unconscious and attempts were made to resuscitate him, but he died at the scene.

Investigations by HSE inspectors discovered a bungee-style cord was positioned over the controls that were meant to be operated only by hand – a system which ensured the operator was away from the tail section as the hydraulics lifted it up.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that the tipper was already in the process of rising before Harrold had finished opening the catches on the back door, which then burst open.

Transpan (Scotland) Ltd. pleaded guilty to a charge brought under Section 2 and 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

“This risk here was entirely foreseeable. The bungees or elasticated cords on this tipping control had been on there for some time and there were other devices – such as pieces of wood and plastic pipe – that were used to defeat the safety function on other lorries,” HSE Principal Inspector Niall Miller said. “Transpan could easily have supervised drivers on site. If Mr. Harrold had been prevented from using the elasticated cord on the tipping control, he could not have gone behind his lorry when it was tipping upwards.”