Double fatality: HSE reminds quarry transport operators ‘be safe - be seen’

Thursday, 4th Sep '08 at 10:18

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) today warned about the dangers of poorly managed transport in the workplace after Scottish Coal Company Ltd were fined a total of £400,000 following the death of two men who were crushed by a dumper truck.

Colin Fergusson and Brian French were killed at SCCL’s Pennyvennie site, in Dalmellington, East Ayrshire on 26 February 2007 when their vehicle was crushed by a 100 tonne capacity dump truck.  The dump truck driver could not see their vehicle because it was in a blindspot.

At Ayr Sheriff Court today, Scottish Coal Company Ltd was fined a total of £400,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

HSE Inspector Norrie Buchanan said:

"These two deaths were entirely preventable and arose from the clear failure of Scottish Coal to provide suitable means of communication between different vehicles on site in order to reduce the risk of collisions, as well as a failure to manage vehicles on their site.

"Earth-moving vehicles such as dump trucks or bulldozers have poor visual fields due to their large size.  It is crucial that additional steps are taken to ensure that the drivers of these dump trucks are aware of other smaller vehicles around them.

"Control measures to reduce the risk are easily available at a minimal cost.  Installing an additional camera on the side of the dump truck, fitting a raised roof beacon or other means of improving visibility on the Landrover could prevent similar incidents in the future."

Quarrying remains one of the most dangerous industries to work in. Since 2000 more than 2700 quarry workers across the UK have been injured, with 21 fatalities.

  1. Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: "It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety."
  2. Guidance on safety in quarries can be found at
  3. Since the launch of the quarrying industry’s Hard Target Initiative in 2000, there has been a 55% reduction in accidents up to the year 2006/07.
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