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Construction company BAM Nuttall fined £700,000 for the death of man in Moray

By Alistair Whitfield

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One of the country's biggest construction companies has been fined £700,000 after one its employees died near Keith nearly five years ago.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard today that the death of 61-year-old Tyne and Wear man John Cameron led to industry-wide changes to try and prevent a recurrence.

The 61-year-old was crushed to death by a dumper truck on October 28, 2016, while helping to build the Blackhillock sub-station on the outskirts of Keith.

BAM Nuttall today admitted failing to make a suitable risk assessment of vehicles and pedestrians coming into contact with each other.

Fiscal depute Gavin Callaghan told Sheriff Gary Aitken that dumper trucks were shuttling back and forth carrying broken concrete while Mr Cameron using a specialist road saw.

After the saw broke down, Mr Cameron and some colleagues pushed a replacement to the work area.

The court heard Mr Cameron was fitting a blade to the new saw when a front-loading dumper truck and fork lift approached him.

He crouched down and tucked himself in as tightly as possible. However he was not easily visible.

The fork lift passed without incident, but Mr Cameron's legs became trapped under the dumper truck and he died a short time later from fatal pelvic injuries.

Mr Callaghan said: "There was a safe place to carry out the work but it was not clearly designated.

"Mr Cameron was left to his own devices.

"What he did and where he did it was not safe, but that is no criticism of Mr Cameron. No-one from BAM challenged him and there had been no risk planning.

"It is not suggested that BAM had a cavalier attitude towards health and safety and it is tragic that an oversight has such terrible consequences."

Murdo MacLeod, the QC for BAM Nuttalls, explained there had been a last minute design change to the area where Mr Cameron was working.

He admitted that no arrangements had been made for a risk assessment at such short notice.

The lawyer added: "The company recognise it was unacceptable that he should have been left to his own devices and greater care should have been taken to secure that area.

"The company has left no stone unturned since the accident and new zonal working systems have been introduced."

Mr MacLeod added that there is now restricted use of front-loading dumper trucks and design changes have been implemented.

He continued: "The company want to formally record its sincere regret to the family as Mr Cameron was an experienced, highly valued and popular employee."

Sheriff Aitken recorded his condolences to family members in court and added: "No-one ever thinks that a loved one going to work won't come home."

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