Apr 14 2011 By Joe McGuire
Glasgow Sheriff Court
TWO firms have been fined a total of s400,000 after a construction worker fell to his death at a top private school.
Father-of-three James Kelly plunged 30ft from scaffolding at Glasgow Academy in April 2007.
It is believed he had leaned against an incorrectly fitted metal handrail.
At Glasgow Sheriff Court yesterday, Stirling Stone Ltd, who employed James, 50, and Robertson Construction Central Ltd, who had contracted Stirling Stone, were each fined s200,000.
An an earlier trial, the firms had been found guilty of breaching health and safety laws.
John Shelton, a Health and Safety Executive inspector, in a statement after the fine, said: "What happened to Mr Kelly was entirely preventable and would not have happened if the proper steps had been taken.
"Loading up operations at scaffold loading towers are repeated on construction sites across Scotland probably thousands of times a day. There is no excuse for the contractors not to have agreed procedures as to how this work was to be done and ensured that this routine work was carried out safely."
James had been working on the third level of a loading tower of scaffolding at the school when he fell.
Stonemason Stuart McCafferty, who saw him just before the accident, told the earlier court hearing: "He leaned against the rail and just kept falling."
Mr McCafferty said there was often a problem on the site with unqualified workers altering scaffolding instead of trained scaffolders.
He said: "If we couldn't find a scaffolder, we would do it. We shouldn't have done it but we did."
A spokesman for the main contractors said yesterday:"Robertson Construction Central Limited is extremely sorry about the death of James Kelly and accepts the sentence."