Firm fined over worker's death at Glendoe

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Glendoe hydro scheme at Fort Augustus
Image caption,
The incident at Glendoe breached health and safety rules

A company has been fined £266,000 over a contractor's death during the construction of the Glendoe hydro-electric scheme near Fort Augustus.

Ondrej Hladick, 46, died when he was crushed by part of the equipment he was using at the site on 22 September 2008.

Hochtief Construction AG has been fined £266,000 at Inverness Sheriff Court, the Crown Office said.

The fine was reduced from £400,000 due to the company's guilty plea to a breach of health and safety.

The court heard that the telehandler, a forklift type vehicle, Czech Mr Hladick was driving was in extremely poor condition.

It was believed the workman, from Prague, was leaning out of a large missing window and was crushed by the machine's telescopic boom as he lowered it.

Following the conviction, Elaine Taylor, head of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service health and safety division, said the company should not have had equipment in poor condition on the site.

She added: "Hochtief Construction AG exposed them to a significant risk to their health and safety.

"Sadly, for Mr Hladik and his family, that risk materialised in the loss of his life.

"Mr Hladik's death was entirely avoidable had Hochtief complied with health and safety legislation."

'Tragic incident'

Health and Safety Executive inspector John Shelton said the telehandler involved was the most poorly maintained construction vehicle of its type he had seen in more 30 years service.

He said: "It should never have been allowed near any construction site.

"All plant machinery should be properly maintained - contractors must be able to demonstrate that this is the case on their sites.

"This tragic incident should have been avoided."

In August 2009, just months after it had opened, the Glendoe scheme, near Fort Augustus in the Highlands, was shut down by a rock fall in a tunnel.

The £140m hydro-electric scheme is not expected to resume the generation of electricity until 2012.

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