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Dumfries haulage company fined £45,000 after worker dies in Christmas Eve accident

Miscellaneous lorries, similar to some of those used by J&J Currie Photo: PA

A Dumfries haulage company has been fined £45,000 after the death of a man who was crushed by a failed hydraulic ramp on Christmas Eve.

Ayr Sheriff Court heard how general haulage firm J. & J. Currie Limited was delivering and off-loading a vehicle from a trailer at Arnimean, Galloway Forest.

One of the trailer hydraulic ramps failed to lower and Andrew Adams, aged 61, attempted to carry out a repair.

He removed a hoseburst valve, resulting in a catastrophic release of hydraulic pressure and the ramp collapsed onto him as the rachet strap, which had been used to secure the ramp, failed. He died from severe crushing injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 24 December 2014 found that there was an absence of effective planning, and failure to realise that the repair was more complex than initially thought, and the risks were higher than was envisaged.

Neither Mr Andrews, nor the delivery driver had the required competence to undertake the hydraulic repair. The method of securing the upright ramp was unsuitable due to the condition of the strap.

J. & J. Currie Limited of Lockerbie Road, Dumfries, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 3(1) and Section 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £45,000.

HSE inspector Jane Scott said after the hearing:

This tragic loss of life could have been avoided and highlights the risks associated with maintenance and repair, and the need for those undertaking work to be competent, ensuring work is planned, and the risks are fully understood and managed.

– HSE inspector Jane Scott