Tayside and Central Scotland

Quarry firm fined after dumper truck driver fatal fall

Hatton Mill Quarry Image copyright Google
Image caption HSE said there were "serious safety failings" when Joseph Troup died at the Hatton Mill Quarry

An Arbroath quarry operator has been fined £200,000 after a dumper truck driver died amid "serious safety failings".

Joseph Troup, of Forfar, was working for D Geddes (Contractors) Ltd at the Hatton Mill Quarry in Friockheim when he died on 26 July 2012.

The 76-year-old reversed his truck over a stop block and fell into the quarry.

Forfar Sheriff Court heard that the firm should have identified the risk and taken measures to prevent it.

At the time of the incident, Mr Troup had loaded material from the quarry onto his 35-tonne dump truck and was preparing to tip the load onto the processing plant's input hopper.

However, instead of stopping the truck and raising the body to tip out the load, Mr Troup began to reverse. Investigators think he may have accidentally pulled the wrong lever in the cab, as the gear and tipping levers are side by side.

A build-up of material at the stop block created a ramp which the large-wheeled vehicle was able to mount, and it toppled into the quarry.

Mr Troup was not wearing a seatbelt at the time and was thrown from his seat, dying instantly from head injuries.

'Inherently dangerous'

Health and Safety Executive investigators found the metal stop-block and the compacted material on top of it measured 41cm (16in). When the material was cleared away, the block stood at its intended height of 63cm (24in), which would have been sufficient to stop the truck.

D Geddes (Contractors) Ltd, of Arbroath, pleaded guilty to breaching an article of the Quarries Regulations act.

HSE inspector Richard Noble said: "The task of reversing a heavy vehicle to the stop block of an input hopper of a processing plant is an inherently dangerous one.

"D Geddes should have identified the risk of the vehicle reversing over the input hopper stop block and the driver being injured, or killed, and ensured measures were in place to prevent this from happening.

"There is well-established guidance available on safe tipping at quarries, which if followed would have prevented this tragic incident."

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