Whisky firm fined after Dumbarton worker crushed

By Lorraine Weir

Fines of £100,000 have been issued after a worker at Chivas’ Dumbarton bottling plant was crushed by machinery.

Chivas Brothers Limited and Fire Protection Group (FPG) Limited pled guilty to health and safety breaches committed between 20 December 2016 and 22 February 2017 at Dumbarton Sheriff Court last week.

The companies were each fined £50,000 yesterday (Monday).

The court heard that on February 22, 2017 at the Kilmalid facility, an engineer employed by Fire Protection Group (FPG) Limited was trapped and crushed inside a vertical storage and retrieval unit.

The FPG engineer got trapped inside this machine (COPFS)

The engineer suffered crushing injuries to his right side, including the chest wall, shoulder and upper leg and sustained a cut to the top of his head.

The incident happened as an extractor device in the unit moved down on top of him and pinned him to the ground.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that FPG Limited had failed to ensure a suitable and sufficient risk assessment was carried out for the inspection of fire suppression systems located inside the storage and retrieval unit.

They also failed to provide staff with the relevant information, instruction or training in relation to machinery hazards and preventative measures that should have been taken.

The investigation also found that Chivas Brothers Limited failed to give the necessary safety information to both its own employees and the FPG Limited employees working on the units.

Both companies co-operated fully with the HSE investigation and have implemented new systems of working since the accident.

Alistair Duncan, head of the health and safety investigation unit, said: “This was a foreseeable accident resulting in injuries that could have been avoided if an agreed safe system of work had been in place and all relevant safety information had been shared.

“This prosecution and the sentence should serve to remind employers that failure to fulfil their obligations can have serious consequences and that they will be held to account for their failings.”

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