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Community service order follows boom lift fatality

14 Jul 22 A Scottish boss is doing community service after an employee was killed in a boom lift accident.

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) recommends safety harnesses when working in elevating platforms
The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) recommends safety harnesses when working in elevating platforms

Michael McArthur, 26, was working from the basket of a telescopic boom mobile elevated work platform – a Nifty HR12 cherry picker – set up on a street when a tour bus clipped the boom, throwing  him out. He died from his injuries.

Her had been decorating the dormer windows of a house on Balkerach Street, Doune in Perthshire but was not wearing a harness or lanyard. The incident took place on 27th September 2018.

Kevin Bowie, aged 38 and the sole director of Denny based Precision Decorating Services (Scotland) Ltd, was found guilty of a breach of the Working at Height Regulations 2005 and the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 at Falkirk Sheriff Court on 31st March 2022.

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He was sentenced this week, on 12th July, and given a community payback order requiring him to be under supervision for 18 months and to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work.

Bowie was found to have failed to ensure that the work being carried out at height was properly planned, appropriately supervised, and carried out in a manner which was, as far as reasonably practicable, safe. No suitable measures were in place to effectively segregate the access platform from street traffic.

Alistair Duncan, head of the health & safety investigation unit in Scotland’s Crown Office, said: "This was a tragic incident that could have been avoided if Kevin Bowie had put in place appropriate protective measures to protect his employee Michael McArthur. Falls from height are usually the greatest single cause of death and serious injury to workers within the construction industry. Hopefully this prosecution will remind other employers that failure to fulfil their obligations can have severe and tragic consequences and that they will be held to account for their failings."

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