Kenneth McLean's death on building site 'avoidable'

image captionThe court heard PBL Construction had since gone into liquidation

A sheriff has ruled that the death of a workman who fell 30ft from scaffolding on a Glasgow building site was "entirely avoidable".

Kenneth McLean, 53, was carrying out rough casting at a construction site in Partick in October 2005 when he leaned against a bracket which gave way.

A fatal accident inquiry heard he later died from head and chest injuries.

In a written judgement, Sheriff John McCormick criticised PBL Construction's health and safety procedures.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard how Mr McLean had been working on the site with his brother Brian when the accident happened.

He had been unloading items on the fifth level of the scaffolding when he leaned on a bracket which was insecurely fastened and fell over the side.

Fatal injuries

Brian McLean, now 60, went to see what was keeping his brother but there was no sign of him.

The workman then looked down and saw his brother lying on the ground.

Mr McLean, from Glasgow, was taken to the city's Western Infirmary where he later died.

In his judgement, Sheriff McCormick said: "This is an accident which was entirely avoidable.

"If proper consideration and instruction had been given so that work could be undertaken by tradesmen at the fifth level, the accident might have been avoided.

"Regrettably this is one more example of health and safety legislation being ignored on site by those who are either unqualified or unwilling to take the necessary action so as to protect employees and other workers on site from accidents which are entirely preventable."

The sheriff was also highly critical of PBL Construction, which has since gone into liquidation.

He added: "At the conclusion one is left with the general impression of a company, PBL Construction, having insufficient scaffolders, neither of whom was qualified to erect Kwikstage Scaffold, with site managers not qualified to notice this deficiency or to conduct inspections."

"The number and extent of the failures to properly manage and maintain this site will be cold comfort to Mrs Elizabeth McLean and her family to whom the court sends its condolences."

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