Paltry fine for power station fatality

A £5,000 fine has been levied against a demolition contractor after an employee – Gary Robertson – fell to his death when a rusty pipe bridge platform collapsed.

The incident happened on 6th February 2019 at Longannet Power Station, Fife. By September 2020 the contractor concerned – Brown & Mason Ltd – was in administration and subsequently changed its name to CBR02 Limited.

A joint investigation by the Health & Safety Executive and the Police in Scotland found that the section of metal grating on the pipe bridge on which the deceased had been standing gave way under his weight, because it was so corroded.

By failing to record the hazardous condition of the pipe bridge the company had failed to undertake a suitable and sufficient risk assessment.

In particular, the risk assessment – which formed part of the final, revised method statement – did not address the severely corroded nature of the pipe bridge, despite it being previously highlighted and requested by the client, Scottish Power. Now here’s where things start to get complicated.

In June 2019, just weeks after the fatality, Brown & Mason Plant Hire changed its name to Brown & Mason Group Ltd and continued trading as Brown & Mason under the same ultimate ownership, but with title switched from Brown & Mason Holdings to Nrlb Ltd, both owned by members of the Brown family.

Brown & Mason Group increased its net book value from £3.6 to £22 million in the wake of its name change.

Read more here.