Glasgow & West Scotland

Clydeport fined over crane worker death at Hunterston

A port operator has been fined £300,000 after a worker was crushed to death on a crane at Hunterston coal terminal.

Craig Logan, 22, died at the Ayrshire facility in February 2015 after he became trapped while checking a fault that had halted the crane.

At Kilmarnock Sheriff Court, operator Clydeport pleaded guilty to health and safety breaches.

These included failing to make risk assessments and ensure safe working systems from July 2014 until the death.

The lapses also included failing to ensure the north unloader crane cab was electrically isolated so it could not restart unexpectedly, or to provide means for workers to communicate with each other.

Clydeport also failed to provide access to a lift and sling system so staff did not have to move the cab physically, or identify risks of injury from freeing the cab when it was stuck, or falling from the boom.

'Value of life'

The court heard that the tragedy happened the day before a safety assessment was due to be made, following the departure of key managers with responsibility for health and safety.

Sheriff Shirley Foran expressed sympathy to Mr Logan's family and said the penalty she had to impose "in no ways reflects the value of his life."

Sheriff Foran added that the absence of a qualified risk assessment engineer and health and safety manager for seven to eight months before the incident meant the company "knew they were thereby exposed."

The assessment due the day after Mr Logan's death was the "most bitter of ironies", Sheriff Foran added.

A spokesman for Clydeport, which has previous health and safety convictions, said outside court: "We failed to meet the very high standards we set ourselves and a young man tragically paid with his life, for which we are sincerely sorry.

"The failures which contributed to this tragic accident should have been avoided and indeed, a full external health and safety review was already due to start the day after Craig died.

"Since the accident, we have comprehensively reviewed our approach to health and safety at Hunterston to do everything possible to ensure there can be no repeat."

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